Patrick Hruby has written an excellent analysis of the Florida Marlins (now Miami Marlins) recent wild spending spree in the free agent market — which is the result of an unscrupulous stadium deal that was pushed through by Miami-Dade County commissioners and other local politicians without a referendum. See Yahoo! Sports ThePostGame (Full disclosure: Hruby quotes this writer in his column.)
If you haven’t followed the Marlins’ stadium escapades, give this piece a read. What’ll you’ll find are the key details of what might be the ugliest publicly-financed stadium/arena deal yet. This dubious arrangement is now the target of an SEC investigation due to the shady actions of all involved, including not only the local bigwigs, but Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria, and possibly even Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. City and county taxpayers have been handed a tab that includes $100-plus million in parking garage construction; a $35 million loan to the Marlins; $12 million for road repairs and other incidental costs; and over $347 million in ballpark construction bonds (which will cost the public more than $2 billion over the 40-year payback period … rest assured the Marlins will be crying poor once again halfway through that 40 years).
This public fleecing took place despite the Marlins turning a tidy profit. In 2010, leaked documents showed the Marlins actually made $48.9 million in profits in 2008-09, while all the while talking about their financial dire straits, having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, and putting a lousy team on the field for fans.
Hruby urges fans and taxpayers to not take it anymore and demand change.
“Demand that sports franchises share their profits with the same cities and counties that are sharing their costs of business,” writes Hruby. “Demand that Congress eliminate the antitrust exemptions that allow leagues to act as unregulated monopolies, playing the build-or-we’ll-move stick-up game, over and over again….”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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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