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Superbowl VS Homelessness

Patricia McCarthy, CND

SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles which host the Super Bowl this year cost $5 billion to construct. It holds from 70,000 to 100,000 people. It was a sellout for the Super Bowl. Aside from fees, which are additional to the price, the average ticket cost $9,496.00. They ranged from $5400.00 to $75,000.00.

The stadium has 260 luxury suites; they hold from eight to thirty-six people. The cost range for those suites is from $200,000.00 to $2,000,000.00.

Of course, parking also has to be considered. Inside the stadium places are at a premium and they only cost $135.00. Most had to park outside the stadium so the average parking cost was $1500.00. One garage offered a place for $4,850; and it was sold. A thirty second commercial sold for $7,000,000.00. There were 91 sold.

In addition to the actual game, the average person attending stays in the area for four days. Naturally, prices for accommodations were highly inflated for the weekend.

The highest paid NFL players make over $40,000,000.00. Most of them did not even play in the Super Bowl.

The county of Los Angeles has 63,706 homeless people living on the streets, under bridges, in shelters, in parks. None of them are ever featured in the news coverage of events such as the Super Bowl; and the area around the stadiums are “swept” before any big game or concert, so the attendees won’t be offended at the sight of the poor and destitute of the city. The word “swept” implies the homeless are garbage to be cleaned up.

A small Catholic elementary school of about 200 students gather together on Thursdays to make sandwiches for the homeless in their city. Generous and kind parents send in meat, cheese and bread with their children. Older students help the young ones, but each child is part of the effort. Three and four year olds can count. They know out to put two pieces of meat and cheese on the bread and make a sandwich. Last week they made 600 sandwiches and they were so happy, especially the sixth graders who got to deliver them to a hospitality center for the homeless. The cost of the cheapest seat at the Super Bowl could provide hot meals to the center for a year.

The homeless of Los Angeles could be fed for three years just on the cost of one stadium suite box. The most expensive box could build apartments for them.

Just because some people, very few in comparison to most of us, have the kind of money to afford the extravagance of attending a Super Bowl doesn’t mean it is right. With wealth comes responsibility.

Everyone of us is responsible for the neediest among us. Making sandwiches is not going to put a dent in the needs of the poor, but it is a sign that they matter and it gives them food for a meal. It teaches children to care and to act. Thank God for all who are working tirelessly to end homelessness on the systemic and structural level of change.

And thank God for the four year old who put double roast beef on the sandwich.

Article first published by the Rhode Island Catholic

 

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