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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon