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 #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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