New football stadium causes unjust eminent domain

” It seems the University of Akron is always under some sort of construction. Currently, it’s the new stadium that the university is dropping $70 million on in order to build. In preparation for the new stadium, the university has used eminent domain and caused Manny’s Pub, Joe’s Sun Bar and several other privately-owned businesses to bite the dust.”

It seems the University of Akron is always under some sort of construction. Currently, it’s the new stadium that the university is dropping $70 million on in order to build.

In preparation for the new stadium, the university has used eminent domain and caused Manny’s Pub, Joe’s Sun Bar and several other privately-owned businesses to bite the dust. Thankfully, for a few of the owners, they filed suit and were awarded much more money than originally offered.

But the real problem isn’t that these businesses weren’t given enough money, it is that they are being forced out unjustly for reasons other than public use, the requisite called for in the Constitution.

The Constitution gives us the Fifth Amendment for the purpose of protecting our property from the sequestering of the government. This Amendment reads, [N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. The writers of the Constitution understood that there could sometimes arise a situation where the government would need to take private property for public use, such as a highway, military fort, a prison or a courthouse. Which category does a football stadium fall into?

The answer is none. The truth is that there are ulterior motives for the construction of this stadium. One is for the university to create revenue.

Also, think of all the new students that are going to be drawn to the university just for the new stadium. This will bring an increase in tuition revenue.

Next, we have the motivation of the mayor and the city of Akron. The city readily awaits the influx of new students because this means more potential life-long residents of the city with an increase of tax dollars to be had. And then there are all the private businesses that are bound to spring-up on Exchange and surrounding streets after the completion of the stadium.

In certain situations I can acknowledge the need for tax dollars funding for the construction of schools or institutions of higher education. The argument used is that educated citizens will ultimately lead to a better society, which, when you look at the big picture, is good for the public. You may argue from that basis, but what do you say about building a football stadium? There is no educating taking place, the spectators are learning nothing.

If this new stadium were even remotely close to the definition of public use, which it is not, then the university should be obligated to open the gates to everybody for free, no tickets necessary. Please don’t misunderstand me, being on the football team means that I am going to be directly affected by the new stadium, and I am very excited to see it finished, but there is a more important theme to be grasped. This idea is that we need less government intervention. Ronald Reagan said it best, Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.

This misuse of eminent domain is just one instance of how the the government has exceeded the powers that were specifically enumerated by the Constitution. Politicians are now signing bills into law that are nowhere in the writings of the Constitution, but who is to stop them?

Americans have been little by little, giving ground to the government for the last 200 years, allowing them to pass ridiculous statutes like welfare, Social Security, bailouts and stimulus packages. Are we going to remain stagnant as the government grows to a size like that? Yes, the stadium will be a great new addition to the University of Akron, but ask yourself a question. Thirty years from now, is it better that I sat through a few football games, or that I stood by my principles and heeded to the advice of the knowledgeable men that came before me?