Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kenney: Lease luxury boxes for school-supply fund

Philadelphia City Councilman James F. Kenney urged Mayor Nutter Tuesday to lease the city’s luxury boxes at each of the three main professional sporting venues and put the money toward the mayor’s fundraising efforts for school supplies.

Kenney: Lease luxury boxes for school-supply fund

Philadelphia City Councilman James F. Kenney urged Mayor Nutter Tuesday to lease the city’s luxury boxes at each of the three main professional sporting venues and put the money toward the mayor’s fundraising efforts for school supplies.

Nutter often gives tickets to the “Mayor’s Box” to city employees and members of his staff and Council, uses them as rewards for students and community groups, and allows them to be sold for certain charitable causes.

While the School District of Philadelphia continues to grapple with a $304 million deficit, the mayor last week announced a drive to raise $500,000 for school supplies by Oct. 15, saying the city would contribute $200,000.

In a letter to the mayor, Kenney estimated that the boxes could be leased for $30,000 per Eagles game and $3,000 each for Phillies, Flyers and 76ers games. Concerts, like this summer’s Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake show at Citizen’s Bank Park, could raise money as well.

He said the total haul could be $1 million a year for the school supply fund.

Even though more than half of all box tickets since 2008 have gone to groups like schools and non-profits, Kenney said the school funding crisis “must take precedence.”

“These luxury boxes are a valuable city asset and belong to the taxpayers,” Kenney wrote. “They should be used in a pragmatic way to help us generate much needed revenue during this current school funding crisis.”

The administration did not have an immediate response to the letter.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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