The legislation requires that, in the event of cost overruns, unidentified private and federal sources be tapped. Should nothing come of these unspecified sources, the DC taxpayers would again be responsible for costs above and beyond the $610.8 million, which the project will far surpass without the turning of a single shovel of dirt. The legislation passed by the DC Council fails even to require Major League Baseball to be responsible for cost overruns.
The request for more money from District taxpayers is inevitable as spending pressures mount and costs continue to escalate out of control. If construction begins, Mayor Williams, the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission, the team owners and others will come back to the DC Council with hat in hand, demanding funding beyond the $610.8 million. With the project underway and no committed sources for funding these further cost overruns, taxpayers would be forced to pay the open-ended costs.
Perhaps most reprehensible, were the votes of Kwame Brown, Vincent Gray and Marion Barry. In autumn 2004, District voters ended the representation on the DC Council of all three incumbent members up for re-election who supported spending tax dollars on a stadium (at that time, $440 million), and replaced them with three new members who campaigned against it. The three who were elected on the strength of their then-principled stances — Brown, Gray and Barry — sold-out the voters who put them in office by voting in favor of the stadium lease after more than three hours of closed-door deal-making “recesses” in the middle of the public Council session.
For these councilmembers and the others responsible for allowing Major League Baseball to run roughshod over the District’s government and residents — Schwartz, Patterson, Cropp, Evans, Orange and Ambrose — one prediction is certain. There is no putting this Major League Baseball power-grab behind them. It will return again and again, and they will be held accountable.
While the majority were fantasizing about their luxury box seats at future Nationals games, the few councilmembers who refused to stick citizens with the bill for a stadium — Catania. Fenty, Graham and Mendelson — have done a great service under tremendous pressure from developers, lobbyists and compliant politicians by standing-up and representing the interests of the citizens of the District of Columbia.
To be sure, this boondoggle is not over. Many more legal and financial problems will emerge, and the stadium deal will deservedly collapse under its own bloated weight. To those on Wall Street who are contemplating issuing the bonds, the ooze and bile from this deal will flow strong in the months to come. This fight is not over. It is still unlikely the stadium will be built unless Major League Baseball’s freeloading “capitalists” put private investment funds into this entertainment project.
Sports Forum Podcast
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, and has a long involvement with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport (now called the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). We discuss the state of college athletics today, given the pressures of NIL, the transfer portal, sports gambling and huge media contracts. McMillen then provides great perspective on the poor state of physical fitness our young people are experiencing today.
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More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
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.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
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