Who has it better than professional sports franchise owners? The government has given them monopoly privileges and anti-trust exemptions. And local fans/taxpayers build them large sports palaces (and usually cover a major chunk of maintenance as well), while giving them virtually all revenues from naming rights, parking, and concessions. Oh, and don’t forget the big bucks they pull in from the luxury suites and club suites we build for them in these palaces. Moreover, the appreciation in the value of pro sports franchises is through the roof. Did you catch the sales price of the LA Dodgers? When was the last time you heard of a franchise owner selling his team for less than he purchased it for?
Roldo Bartimole presents a well-done case study on the stadium/arena situation in Cleveland, and in the process does an excellent job of providing an example of the obscene deals big league owners get in general. (See “What to Do About Browns Stadium – Sell It for 1 Buck!”)
“Three billionaires asking for sales taxes on beer, liquor, wine and cigarettes from the many,” writes Bartiomole. “To pay their bills.”
Bartimole goes on to list all the public money — and the various sources — that has gone into the Cleveland Browns stadium. And it seemingly never ends, as the Browns have successfully lobbied for tax extensions. Taxpayers have already pitched in a half billion dollars for the Browns’ playpen, with many more years to pay.
Bartimole asks, “Can you imagine what we’re spending nationally on these sports parasites? In the billions of dollars. And we blame teachers for our fiscal troubles.”
Bartimole suggests selling the stadiums and arenas to the sports franchise owners, free and clear, for $1 and have it over with. Hand the sports palaces, worth millions, completely over to the greedy owners. But as part of the bargain, Bartimole says they should be put back on the property tax rolls. And moving forward, he thinks we should tell the owners to build their own stadiums and arenas and get off the dole.
“Now is the time to tell sports owners — you’re on your own,” says Bartimole. “Grow up.”
–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.
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