By Ken Reed
Glendale, Arizona was the forgotten Phoenix suburb and they didn’t like it. They wanted to become a “destination,” like their neighbors Scottsdale, Tempe and even Mesa.
They decided to pursue this quest by funding sports stadiums, arenas, and other infrastructure. The result? They’ve never become a “destination” and they almost went bankrupt.
Glendale’s sparking football facility is hosting the Super Bowl but most visitors in town for the game are staying in Phoenix or Scottsdale and driving over for the game. Most of the Super Bowl parties and ancillary events surrounding the game are in Phoenix or Scottsdale as well.
Glendale, a city of 250,000, has spent millions on a hockey arena for the Arizona Coyotes, along with a spring training baseball complex for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Moreover, the hockey team’s ownership tanked and Glendale spent another $50 million to keep the team in Glendale.
“I’m not living in the past, I’m just paying for it,” says Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers.
Weiers also has said Glendale will actually lose a “couple million dollars” hosting the Super Bowl, a lot of the money going towards overtime costs for police and public safety during the Super Bowl extravaganza.
Meanwhile, Glendale has raised taxes (including a 9.2 percent sales tax on shoppers and diners), chopped 25 percent of the city’s workforce, cut back on paving projects, and reduced hours at municipal swimming pools and libraries. All to remain financially solvent as a municipality.
Quite the deal for local taxpayers, huh?
— 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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