By Ken Reed
Among the loud fallout from the election results earlier this month, a couple referendums for publicly-financed new pro sports stadiums received little notice.
In San Diego, voters told Dean Spanos, owner of the NFL’s Chargers franchise, they weren’t interested in giving the local NFL team hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new football stadium in which Spanos and his family could boost already-obscene profits on the backs of local citizens. The measure was shot down by a 57% to 43% count.
“Many (voters) felt that the Chargers have tried to hold the city and taxpayers hostage to get the new stadium,” said Jim Lackritz, co-founder of the San Diego State University Sports Business M.B.A. program.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, Arlington, Texas voters approved — by a 60%-40% count — public funding for a billion-dollar sports palace with a retractable roof for MLB’s Texas Rangers. The new stadium will replace a ballpark that is only 22 years old.
A spokesman for the effort to reject the new stadium tax said the “Yes” side was simply too well-funded to beat.
In addition to the taxpayer funding, the new Arlington stadium agreement allows for new ticket and parking taxes. Part of the proceeds from these taxes will go to paying off the Rangers’ share of the ballpark costs.
That’s a new greed-based scheme by billionaire owners in the on-going stadium game.
Here’s hoping this tactic doesn’t become popular in other pro sports cities.
— 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.
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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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