House subcommittee hearing to examine promises of prosperity made to obtain taxpayer-financed stadiums from cities
The public justification for this use of public funds, including construction financing with tax exempt bonds, is that this is an investment that brings jobs and consumers to a city’s downtown. Similarly, proponents for taxpayer financing of convention centers and hotels frequently argue that those projects are contributors to the revitalization of cities.
Academic research on the value to economic development, however, has universally concluded that sports stadiums, convention centers and hotels do not create an increase in economic activity in the city which financed the construction.
In 2006, the IRS issued a private ruling that enabled the New York Yankees to receive tax exempt financing for the construction of a new stadium. Later, the IRS revamped its regulations to permit many more sports stadiums to receive tax exempt financing.
This is the second hearing in a series Kucinich plans to hold looking at various issues afflicting urban America.
Witnesses for the hearing include:
Ms. Joyce Hogi — a widow and resident of the South Bronx, New York. Ms. Hogi’s apartment overlooks the construction sight where a new parking lot is being built for Yankees’ stadium. The parking lot was formerly a Macombs Dam public park.
Mr. Frank Rashid — waged an unsuccessful 10-year campaign to save Tigers’ Stadium in Detroit.
Mr. Nick Licata — Seattle City Council president. Mr. Licata will discuss his successful attempt to fight a new arena being built in his city for the Seattle Supersonics.
Mr. Neil deMause – author of Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit.
Dr. Brad Humphreys — Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Heywood Sanders — a professor of public policy at the University of Texas at San Antonio and an expert of convention center expansion.
Mr. Dennis Zimmerman — Director of Projects at the American Tax Policy Institute. Mr. Zimmerman is a former Congressional Research Service analyst and Congressional Budget Office analyst whose expertise is in the use of tax exempt bonds and the economics of professional sports stadiums.
Mr. Bob Murphy, President, Dayton Dragons, Dayton, OH. The Dayton Dragons are a Class A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds.
Mr. Micah Green, co-CEO, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Washington, D.C. Mr. Green heads the merger of the Securities Industry Association and the Bond Market Association. The Association represents the interests of more than 650 securities firms, banks and asset managers.
Mr. Donald Korb — chief counsel of the International Revenue Service. Mr. Korb will be discussing a December rule change that enabled tax exempt bonds to be used in the construction of the new Yankees’ stadium.
Sports Forum Podcast
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, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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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.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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