Selling Out the Fans and Taxpayers
Ralph Nader and League of Fans release "Selling Out the Fans and Taxpayers: A summary of current stadium and arena naming rights deals"
For Release: Thursday, October 10, 2002
"Wealthy team owners and corporations want the public and media to say their name every time they talk sports," said Shawn McCarthy, director of League of Fans. "Over the last decade, they have increasingly entered into naming rights deals for stadiums, selling out the interests of fans and taxpayers."
"The naming rights trend has become all the more embarrassing," said Ralph Nader, "as corporate names like Enron, TWA, CMGi, Adelphia and PSINet have fallen off of stadiums over the past two years due to bankruptcies and misdeeds."
"Selling Out the Fans and Taxpayers", a new report released today by Ralph Nader and League of Fans, details all current major professional stadium and arena naming rights agreements. The report lists the length of term for each deal, monetary sum and sponsor, along with a short profile of each sponsor. It is designed as a resource for reporters, sports fans, activists and taxpayers and as such, will be regularly updated. It can be viewed at the League of Fans website: http://www.leagueoffans.org.
"We shouldn't be forced to watch sports against a backdrop of unavoidable ads from the global corporate thugs, many of whom are polluters, tax cheats, tortfeasors and corporate welfare recipients, listed in this report," said Nader.
"Though these sports venues may be owned by the public, the naming rights fees almost always go straight into the team owners' overstuffed wallets – further reducing sports to the constant pursuit of commercialized profit," said McCarthy. "These corporate names grate on the taxpayers who are forced to pay for the stadiums and arenas, and the fans who want sports that are untainted by the money, ads and hype that are squeezing the fun out of the games they love."
"Like so much of our corporate-run society, the sports industry seems determined to drain the civic spirit of our cities," said Nader. "The public has never supported the practice of selling stadium and arena naming rights anywhere."
The mission of League of Fans is to improve sports by working as a sports industry watchdog to increase awareness of the industry's relationship to society, expose irresponsible business practices, ensure fan accountability, and encourage the sports industry to contribute to societal well-being. League of Fans' website is at: http://www.leagueoffans.org.
View the Report: