The Jawa, a meter-tall hooded humanoid with glowing yellow eyes, has a well-earned, intergalactic reputation as a huckster. Jawas scavenge the sand dunes of Tatooine, looking for scrap metal and stray droids to seize. From their monumental fortress-homes, known as sandcrawlers, they sell hastily refurbished junk to a desperate and unsuspecting local populace.
And for those of us craving an explanation for how the Minnesota Vikings' new, taxpayer-subsidized U.S. Bank Stadium could cost over a billion dollars, I offer you this Star Wars-inspired smoking laser gun:
Stadium-boosting politicians usually stand more than one meter tall and they rarely display their glowing eyes in full view of the voting public. But hardly a week goes by when they're not foisting stadium-shaped hunks of scrap metal on communities eager for entertainment and economic development. And with it come all the hazards found at the intersection of politics and real estate: delays, back-room deals, cost overruns, eminent domain seizures, and this week, arrests by the FBI for cooking the books.
Sometimes the promised development comes. Usually, it doesn't.
For decades, Hartford, Connecticut has been a Tatooine-like desert of economic development. Its new taxpayer-subsidized baseball stadium, still under construction, began with promises of a new hotel, a supermarket, a brewery, and more. The story lurking underneath the hopes and the promises, however, doesn't bode well for a troubled project that's already two months late and $10 million over budget. Watch the video below for an entertaining look at how ballparks really get made.