On the heels of the PR hit the Eagles have taken for letting Brian Dawkins walk (which is arguable on both sides), protesters organized by ACORN held a tailgate party outside of Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s mansion to protest the Eagles continuing refusal to pay $8 million (plus interest) to the city of Philadelphia for the citys share of luxury box rental at the municipally owned Veterans Stadium. The Eagles are refusing to pay due to a dispute about lost revenue from the cancellation of a 2001 preseason game due to concerns about the condition of the artificial turf. From the Phila Inquirer:
Twisting a Philadelphia sports slogan, about 30 protesters stood at the gate of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie’s Wynnewood mansion yesterday and shouted, “Pay, Eagles, pay!”
Under the watch of about a half-dozen Lower Merion Township police officers, members of the activist group ACORN held a half-hour “tailgating” protest, complete with grilled hot dogs, at dusk. The protesters contended that the Eagles still have not shared with the city money from rents on luxury boxes from when the team played at Veterans Stadium.
No one from the house came to the gate during the protest. A telephone call to an Eagles spokesman was not answered.
Pointing out that Mayor Nutter has proposed cutting some city services, ACORN activist Junette Marcano of the Oak Lane section said it was important to look at ways to raise revenue without reducing services. Low- and moderate-income communities, which ACORN works to help, rely heavily on city services, she said.
“These are resources we should look at instead of making cuts,” Marcano said. “There are other ways of getting revenue instead of cutting services such as police and firehouses and libraries and rec centers.”
Chanting “Show me the money,” the protesters, most wearing red baseball caps bearing the ACORN logo, stood outside Lurie’s home on Llanfair Way, the former residence of the publisher and philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg. Amid the chants, they noshed on hot dogs from a portable grill.
Ian Phillips, the group’s legislative director, said businesses and other entities owe the city millions.
“We could use that money to cut the budget shortfall,” Phillips said. “We’re going to be calling out other people who owe the city money. We’re moving down the list.”