Shutdown Corner - NFL

If this agonizing lockout drags into the fall, lots of big, expensive stadiums will be sitting around empty, unused and doing no one any good.

That doesn't mean you won't still have to pay for them.

Erie county taxpayers, as reported by Matt Spina of BuffaloNews.com, will be shelling out $640,000 to the Buffalo Bills by May 1, and another million by Aug. 1. The money is for "game-day and operating expenses," covering things like utilities, garbage, cleaning, maintenance and pest control.

Some would argue that the best thing the county could do to beautify Ralph Wilson Stadium is to keep the Bills from playing in it. Others might argue that the Bills should save on pest control costs, and instead put uniforms on a group of rats, pigeons and opossums, and see if they don't make the playoffs as often as the Bills over the past 10 years.

Such suggestions are not helpful.

It's a good reminder, though, of how the lockout doesn't just hurt owners and players, but shafts ordinary working people, too. It's not like the city of Buffalo couldn't find another way to spend that money. Instead, they end up shoving it into a stadium that won't even be home to the two or three wins a year it usually sees.

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