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 #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
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. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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