By Ken Reed
In a recent article he penned, Minnesota state senator John Marty wrote that the millions of public dollars going to build the wealthy owners of the highly profitable Minnesota Vikinigs a new stadium is evidence of warped priorities.
“Mr. (Zygi) Wilf’s expensive lobbying effort and his generous campaign contributions won the day,” wrote Marty. “Already making big profits from the Vikings, he will get over a billion more from taxpayers for stadium construction and operating costs.”
Minnesota politicians passed the stadium bill despite the final poll before the bill’s passage showing the public strongly against public financing of the stadium. By a margin of 58% to 36%, the public said the stadium should be paid for “entirely with private funding,” according to the KSTP – Survey USA poll.
So, after seeing the taxpayers’ view, what did Minnesota politicians do? They gave Wilf the money for a new sports palace that will boost his profits dramatically (approximately tripling the Vikings’ annual profits, according to an estimate). Make no mistake, Wilf wasn’t losing money playing in the old stadium, the Metrodome. According to Forbes magazine, Wilf has made $196 million in capital gains, plus $46 million in operating profits from the team since buying the franchise in 2005.
Once again, the taxpayers get screwed on a publicly-financed stadium deal designed to make a rich pro sports franchise owner wealthier.
— 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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