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 #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.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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