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 #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