Results of Election Day (11/2/04) Votes on Subsidies
First, the bad news from Arlington, TX . . .
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones scored a major victory for himself and his ridiculously overstuffed wallet on Nov. 2 as voters in Arlington approved the “Proposition” to raise taxes for a new stadium by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent. The Dallas Cowboys are set to have half of a $650 million retractable-roof stadium paid for by Arlington taxpayers. This despite the Cowboys already having the second highest value of any sports franchise in North America ($923 million, according to Forbes), and despite currently playing at Texas Stadium in Irving, which has more revenue-generating luxury boxes (381) than any other stadium. Jerry Jones spent $4.6 million on pro-stadium ads and lobbying.
. . . Now, the good news from St. Louis County, metropolitan Kansas City and San Francisco . . .
By a margin of 72 percent to 28 percent in favor of “Proposition A,” St. Louis County chose to bar public funding of sports facilities unless approved through voter referendum. Congratulations go out to the Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums who collected 30,000 signatures throughout the county to get Prop. A placed on the ballot. The amendment to the county’s charter should prohibit the county from making payments on a $45 million bond issue to finance a new downtown stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals unless voters approve it. This may ultimately be headed to the courts.
Residents in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri, and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas collectively voted down the “Bistate II” sales tax hike to raise $360 million for the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs and Kauffman Stadium for the Royals. The vote was a very close 51 percent to 49 percent margin. “We stood up for the little guy,” said one opposition leader as quoted by the Associated Press. “We were outspent 100 to 1. It was very difficult to stand up to the rich guys who wanted their hobbies subsidized.”
Finally, in San Francisco, voters approved “Proposition H” 54 percent to 46 percent to prohibit the sale of naming rights to Candlestick Park. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez championed the effort to put Proposition H on the ballot, saying, “Across the political spectrum, voters and sports fans are fed up with the intrusion of corporate marketers into every part of our lives and culture. I doubt voters in San Francisco will want to trade local history and everything associated with Candlestick Park just for more corporate advertising.” This throws a wrench into a September deal that renamed the stadium “Monster Park” after Monster Cable Products purchased the naming rights. There could be some lawsuits to come out of this, but it looks like “the Stick” is back!
Ralph Nader’s column prior to the votes:
On Tuesday, Communities Can Say ‘No More!’ to Owners of Sports Franchises
In the Public Interest
by Ralph Nader
October 29, 2004
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
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Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon