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 #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. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
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
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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