Playing host to the 2017 NFL Draft set the city of Philadelphia back a pretty penny.
Bringing the massive event to town cost about half a million dollars, which doesn’t sound like much until you factor in another $5 million or so in private funding the city worked to secure. Plus all the labor and logistics to put on a spectacle that attracted over 70,000 people its first night.
On top of that, the NFL itself is shelling out about $20 million more.
Most of the city — which is a big football town — is pretty excited about the whole thing.
But there’s one group that has every good reason not to be.
Public school teachers in Philadelphia have been trying for years to negotiate a new contract. To them, the draft hoopla is a slap in the face.
And a bunch of them wanted to let City Hall know exactly how they felt about it.
They raised $2,500 for a special, uh, “welcoming banner” to fly over the draft stage.
The banner reads, “City hall (hearts) sports but hates our teachers.”
George Bezanis, a teacher in the district and one of the organizers behind the effort, told NBC Philadelphia poor pay and instability has led many teachers to leave the district.
In fact, Philly teachers haven’t received raises in four years or more.
All the turmoil, he says, is hurting students.
Photos of the banner went viral on social media and inspired a massive response from teachers, parents, and citizens across the country.
The three-day NFL Draft will likely be a huge boon to the Philadelphia economy.
Last year’s event in Chicago reportedly netted about $81 million in tourism spending, so it’s easy to see why the current administration is excited to host.
But in a time where billionaire sports owners make fans pay for their own stadiums, don’t Philadelphia’s teachers deserve their own slice of the pie?
Or better yet, don’t our kids?