By Ken Reed
Earlier this week, the Nevada state senate approved giving Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis $750 million towards a new Las Vegas sports palace for his team to play in. If the state assembly also votes to approve the deal, it would be the largest public subsidy ever for an American stadium or arena.
Nevada governor Brian Sandoval (R) is leading the fight for the new stadium, despite budget problems that could result in cuts to critical public services.
“We have a woefully underfunded education system,” said Annette Magnus, the executive director of Battle Born Progress, one of the groups opposing the deal.
“We can’t build new schools … because we don’t have the money for it. We haven’t properly funded our mental health system since the ‘90s. They’re going to have to balance this budget, so they’re going to have to cut critical services. But they’re willing to raise a tax to build a billionaire a stadium.”
Proponents claim the new stadium would be a huge boost to the local economy. However, sports economists believe there’s little evidence to support such a claim. In fact, Stanford economist Roger Noll said claims of big tourism increases in Vegas have “no basis in reality.”
“No NFL stadium in the country generates tourism for regular season games that accounts for more than a few percent of attendance,” according to Noll. “And people who do travel for games typically spend minimal time – one night at most.”
Despite odds stacked against them, taxpayer groups are fighting hard to stop Sandoval from pushing the new stadium through without a public vote.
“The fix was in to jam this through with as little public scrutiny as possible,” said Bob Fulkerson, the state director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). “They knew the more the public got to look at this, the more they would vomit all over it.”
— 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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