Could the Eagles save the libraries?

The city says it must knife $8 million from the budget by closing 11 library branches and making cuts at the central administration.

The amount that the city says it's owed by the Philadelphia Eagles:

$8 million.

Here's some history, courtesy of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia:

The Philadelphia Eagles have owed the city more than $8 million since 2001 as part of the deal to create luxury boxes at Veterans Stadium. Fans who lived through leaner years when the birds were pushovers instead of NFC Champions may remember that the Eagles, under a previous owner (Leonard Tose), actually threatened to move the team to Phoenix. Citizens who lived through leaner years when the city was facing bankruptcy instead of expanding surpluses may remember that the city, under a previous mayor (Wilson Goode), actually agreed to build new luxury boxes at city-owned Veterans Stadium to keep the team in town.

The deal called for the team to receive all the revenues from renting those city-funded luxury boxes until 2001, when the team would finally share some of the revenue with the city. Of course, 2001 has come and gone and the Eagles have never paid the city a dime of this obligation (conservatively estimated as at least $8 million). This is after the city agreed to help fund a new stadium for the Eagles that has dramatically increased team revenues. In fact, as part of the deal to build the new stadium for the Eagles, the city agreed to make an annual payment to the team of nearly $7 million for operating and maintaining the facility even though the city does not receive any stadium-generated revenues. The city has dutifully made its payment each year while the team continues to balk at making good on its obligation. (That maintenance payment is part of the whole stadium deal including the Eagles stadium and the Phillies ballpark, which costs the city more than $30 million in total each year).

Coughing up this money might be a bigger gesture than handing out a few toys over the holidays, boys. 

We now go to video: I had to listen to the interview of the man who loved books twice to grasp its power. Thanks to Susie Madrak for forwarding me this link.

Lawsuit have been filed over the money. The city contends it is due $10 million, including back payments and interest. the team has countered that the city-owned Vet was in such poor condition that an exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens could not be played, meaning the team says Philadelphia owes it money.

I have asked the Eagles to offer their view of this matter. I will gladly add their comment, when they respond.

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