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 #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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More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
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