League of Fans

Founded by Ralph Nader, League of Fans is a sports reform project working to improve sports by increasing awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, exposing irresponsible business practices, ensuring accountability to fans, and encouraging the industry to contribute to societal well-being.

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Alerts is League of Fans' email announcements list. Alerts provides news, information, the actions of League of Fans and/or Ralph Nader regarding sports issues, and calls-to-action for subscribers. All email updates are either selected or written by League of Fans.


League of Fans is motivated by people, just like you, who are upset with what has become of our sports and would like to make a difference. We work with concerned citizens, sports fans, civic groups and communities to increase awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, influence a broad range of issues in sports at all levels and encourage the cooperative capacities that make the "sports powers-that-be" capable of helping, not just dominating, our society and culture.

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We often think of sports as outside the realm of everyday citizen concern. But the many benefits to society that sports can provide are sometimes undermined by a different set of values, often based on the quest for higher and higher profits at the expense of fans, taxpayers, communities, culture and social justice.

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Get Involved! Your involvement will improve sports for communities and fans, and encourage the sports industry to better contribute to societal well-being.

On the occasion of Connecticut Gov. John Rowland’s resignation, League of Fans remembers the strong opposition that defeated Rowland’s attempted stadium giveaway in Hartford for the New England Patriots in 1998-99

After prolonged controversy, calls for his resignation and impeachment, and a decision by the Connecticut State Supreme Court that he would have to testify before a legislative impeachment panel, Connecticut Governor John Rowland (R) announced on Monday, June 21, 2004 that he will step down from his office effective July 1. Rowland has been battling numerous accusations that he awarded no-bid state contracts, and accepted personal gifts and financial rewards from individuals who did business with the state.

League of Fans takes a look back at Gov. Rowland’s failed stadium deal for Patriots' owner Robert Kraft, focusing on some of the writings of Ralph Nader in opposition to the corporate welfare plan, along with a bibliography of media coverage. Nader's battle against Gov. Rowland and the Patriots was a catalyst for the founding of the project which became League of Fans.


* Ralph Nader's writings *

Op-ed opposing taxpayer subsidies for a new Patriots stadium in Hartford - December 6, 1998

Letter to the Connecticut Secretary of State asking him to speak out on the New England Patriots stadium deal in Hartford - December 14, 1998

Letter to the Connecticut Attorney General asking for an evaluation of the New England Patriots stadium deal in Hartford - December 14, 1998

"In the Public Interest" column opposing taxpayer subsidies for a new Patriots stadium in Hartford - December 21, 1998

Letter to the editor on the secrecy of the Patriots' stadium deal legislation in Hartford - January 6, 1999

Statement on the occasion of the demise of the Rowland-Patriots stadium scheme - April 30, 1999

Op-ed on the failed taxpayer funded stadium scheme for the Patriots in Hartford - May 10, 1999


* Media Coverage *

Don Michak, "Nader: Rowland trying to rush Patriots deal," Journal Inquirer, November 30, 1998.

Mike Swift and Matthew Daly, "Nader Calls Pats Plan 'Corporate Socialism'," , December 1, 1998.

Ralph Nader, "Who Are We Kidding With This Sweetheart Deal?," Hartford Courant, December 6, 1998.

Dan Shaughnessy, "Kraft goes to Conn., keeps con going," Boston Globe, December 11, 1998.

John Breen, "Patriots' hustlers turn state motto into 'How about me?'," Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), December 15, 1998.

Ralph Nader, "No Taxpayer Funded Stadium for the Patriots in Hartford!," syndicated column: In the Public Interest, December 21, 1998.

"Nader Fights Stadium," Washington Post, December 29, 1998, p D2.

"New Stadium for Patriots Won't Be Built, Nader Says," New York Times, December 29, 1998, p A15.

Mark Pazniokas, "Nader Out To Sack Stadium Deal," Hartford Courant, December 29, 1998.

"Activist skeptical of Conn. stadium," Associated Press, December 29, 1998.

Cosmo Macero Jr., "Nader aims to defeat Pats' Conn. deal," Boston Herald, December 29, 1998.

Keith M. Phaneuf, "Nader, others line up against deal," Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), December 29, 1998.

Keith C. Burris, "Nader speaks too little, too late," Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), December 31, 1998.

Janice Battista, "Nader Blasts the Patriots Deal," Litchfield County Times, January 1, 1999.

Ralph Nader, Letter to the Editor: no title, Hartford Courant, January 6, 1999.

"Nader The Critic Stands In Good Company," Hartford Courant, January 12, 1999.

Zoe Konovalov, "Critics dampen Patriots stadium excitement," Yale Herald, February 19, 1999.

Ralph Nader, "Lessons To Be Learned From Patriots Debacle," Hartford Courant, May 10, 1999.