“The program is really about economic development.”

Maybe it’s just me, but as far as creative financing goes, this sounds like it’s got Georgia Tech written all over it:

For years, sports teams have tried to defray the multimillion-dollar costs of their new stadiums by asking fans to pay thousands for personal seat licenses that entitle them to buy season tickets.

Flávio Augusto da Silva is taking the concept further. In what may be the first deal of its kind, Mr. da Silva, the majority owner of Orlando City of Major League Soccer, is asking investors from Brazil, China and elsewhere to pay $500,000 each for a stake in the stadium he is building near downtown Orlando. In return, the foreign investors receive annual dividends, two season tickets and something even more valuable: a green card that allows them, their spouses and sometimes even their children to live and work in the United States.

The visa offer is legal, and it uses a 25-year-old federal program, known as EB-5, that is under renewed scrutiny in Congress. Created in 1990, the program was intended to help pay for infrastructure projects in rural areas and poor urban neighborhoods. After bank lending dried up in the last recession, developers turned to the program to finance hotels, condominiums and other projects from Manhattan to Miami. As a result, the number of EB-5 visas awarded grew to almost 9,000 last year, from fewer than 100 in 2003.

Green cards, infrastructure projects and poor urban neighborhoods?  That pretty much checks every box Tech could point to for money to spruce up Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Now, if they could only figure out a way for coaching salaries to qualify as infrastructure projects…


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

9 responses to ““The program is really about economic development.”

  1. 81Dog

    God forbid the US does anything to attract wealthy, productive immigrants who have to ante up for improvements in blighted areas before getting a green card. Of course, maybe the current administration thinks MS-13 building tunnels into the US is basically the same thing, so come on up!!!!


    • MGW

      The implication that 9,000 immigrants bringing .5M each into the economy (that must each also provide for a minimum of I believe 12 new US jobs and keep them for a minimum of something like 5 years) is a bad thing is absurd.


  2. Uglydawg

    He should enhance the offer even more…give them a big price break on two hotdogs and a coke.


  3. Russ

    Just think of all the rich Tech alumni who will now be eligible for a green card! It warms my heart.


  4. Athens Dog

    Oh Senator. This is so truly evil, snarky………just the best. 🙂


  5. Normaltown Mike

    “$500,000 each for a stake in the stadium”

    It better be one helluva cut and include a nice bottle of vino.


  6. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    Make Parramore, Jersey City and Home Park Great Again!


  7. W Cobb Dawg

    “…foreign investors receive annual dividends..”

    A foreign fool and his money are soon parted.