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 #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.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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