League of Fans

Founded by Ralph Nader, League of Fans is a sports reform project working to improve sports by increasing awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, exposing irresponsible business practices, ensuring accountability to fans, and encouraging the industry to contribute to societal well-being.

Email Alerts

Alerts is League of Fans' email announcements list. Alerts provides news, information, the actions of League of Fans and/or Ralph Nader regarding sports issues, and calls-to-action for subscribers. All email updates are either selected or written by League of Fans.


League of Fans is motivated by people, just like you, who are upset with what has become of our sports and would like to make a difference. We work with concerned citizens, sports fans, civic groups and communities to increase awareness of the sports industry's relationship to society, influence a broad range of issues in sports at all levels and encourage the cooperative capacities that make the "sports powers-that-be" capable of helping, not just dominating, our society and culture.

News / Resources

We often think of sports as outside the realm of everyday citizen concern. But the many benefits to society that sports can provide are sometimes undermined by a different set of values, often based on the quest for higher and higher profits at the expense of fans, taxpayers, communities, culture and social justice.

Your Role

Get Involved! Your involvement will improve sports for communities and fans, and encourage the sports industry to better contribute to societal well-being.


League of Fans - June 26, 2003
1. "Bears football presented by Bank One"
2. Stadium naming rights
3. Corporate welfare for stadium in D.C.


New and very disturbing ground has been broken in the over-commercialization of sports. It appears the Chicago Bears have thanked Chicago's taxpayers and fans for the $500 million renovation of Soldier Field, by changing their name to "Bears football presented by Bank One."

Dangerous precedent - Bank One to be Bears' presenting sponsor
ESPN.com - June 24, 2003
"They are not just 'da Bears' anymore. They are now 'Bears football presented by Bank One.' In an unprecedented NFL move, Bank One on Monday paid an undisclosed amount to be the Chicago Bears' 'presenting partner' for the next 12 years, Knight-Ridder reported."...



Meanwhile the stadium naming rights beat goes on.

What's in a name? At U.S. ballparks, big bucks
Reuters - June 23, 2003
..."'The victory in San Francisco last year was huge. Candlestick was the first pro stadium to return to its popular name,' said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, a group opposed to excessive commercial advertising. 'It showed the tremendous hatred that sports fans have for these naming rights deals.'"...

Talks to open over naming rights to Lambeau Field
ESPN.com - June 19, 2003
..."For the Packers, selling the naming rights is at odds with what the redevelopment plan is supposed to be about: preserving the legacy of city-owned Lambeau Field. An agreement between the Packers and the City of Green Bay says the two sides must work together to sell the naming rights. The naming rights, if they were to be sold, would only be for the name of the stadium."...

Bank it: Naming rights sold for Phillies' new ballpark
Associated Press - June 17, 2003
"The Philadelphia Phillies' new ballpark will be named Citizens Bank Park. Citizens Bank bought the naming rights and an advertising package from the team for $95 million, a bank spokeswoman said Tuesday."...

Ralph Nader and League of Fans release "Selling Out the Fans and Taxpayers: A summary of current stadium and arena naming rights deals" (10/10/02).



In the world of Major League Baseball's extortion for corporate welfare program, there has been encouraging news recently in the fight against the use of taxpayer dollars to finance a new baseball stadium in Washington D.C.

D.C. finance holds up ballpark bill
Washington Times - June 24, 2003
..."The [D.C. Council Finance Committee] chairman, Jack Evans, expressed frustration with the slow-moving and secretive deliberations on the relocation of the Montreal Expos by MLB. He already was upset by the demands of baseball executives for as much public stadium financing as possible. 'I'm not moving anything relative to this out of my committee without a commitment from baseball,' Evans said. 'There is no purpose moving this ahead, raising taxes and so forth, and then have baseball say, 'Never mind.''"...

Williams Eases Push On Stadium Financing
Washington Post - June 25, 2003
"Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday that he will stop pushing the D.C. Council to approve his $339 million stadium financing package until Major League Baseball announces plans to move a team to Washington. The mayor's comments signal a retreat from his position several months ago, when Williams (D) hoped to have the entire package of stadium financing approved before baseball officials met in July to consider moving the ailing Montreal Expos."...

D.C., Va. stadium battles continue
FoS News - June 14, 2003
..."D.C. mayor Anthony Williams' $339 million stadium plan has been battered from all sides, with the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute issuing a report that stadiums are bad investments for cities; D.C. chief financial officer warning that the financing plan could face a $2 million a year shortfall if the team plays too poorly to sell enough tickets; and both Republican opponents and community groups say the district should restore other budget cuts before building a stadium."...

What are we willing to trade for baseball in District?
Washington Times - June 13, 2003
..."D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams - searching for higher ground for a legacy beyond ethical errors for his suspect administration - would trade a public hospital, a public university, a public treatment facility, parcels of choice city-owned land and anything else he could get his greedy gloves on to bring baseball back to the District."...

Ballpark bill faces opposition
Washington Times - June 13, 2003
"'This council is not terribly receptive to the core idea of raising taxes [for baseball],' said Democrat Jack Evans, chairman of the council's finance committee. 'There is great support locally for baseball and not great support for public financing for baseball. Therein lies the dilemma the council wrestles with.'"...

Mayor Giveaway
Washington Times - June 11, 2003
..."After reviewing the facts, lawmakers will reach but one conclusion: No, a public financed baseball stadium will not pay off for D.C."

Financing In Doubt For Stadium
Washington Post - June 8, 2003
"Mayor Anthony A. Williams's $339 million financing plan for a ballpark has run into serious opposition with the D.C. Council and Congress, as lawmakers have balked at his proposals to impose new taxes on businesses and the salaries of baseball players."...

League of Fans' testimony against a taxpayer-subsidized baseball stadium in Washington D.C. (6/12/03).

Sign the petition opposing a taxpayer-subsidized stadium in DC!

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GOOD SPORTS / BAD SPORTS is an email bulletin of recent news items and suggested actions regarding issues in the world of sports. It goes out regularly to League of Fans "Alerts" listserv subscribers.

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Founded by Ralph Nader, the mission of League of Fans is to improve sports by working as a sports industry watchdog to increase awareness of the industry's relationship to society, expose irresponsible business practices, ensure accountability to fans, and encourage the sports industry to contribute to societal well-being.

To find out more about League of Fans, visit www.leagueoffans.org or write to [email protected].