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.

Nader Urges Missouri House of Representatives to Oppose Taxpayer Giveaway


For Release: Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Today, Ralph Nader urged the Missouri House to take charge and represent the public interest for the citizens of Missouri in opposition to the stadium-funding bill. The Missouri House of Representatives is the final governmental hurdle for the corporate welfare bill that gives a $594 million state taxpayer handout over 30 years to benefit owners of the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs.

After little floor deliberation, the stadium-funding bill passed the Missouri Senate on May 7th, consummating luxury box negotiations and back room deals made by corporate and government leaders.

"The Missouri Senate fell to their knees under the weight of this corporate welfare scheme," Nader said. "The State House must not collapse like the other lawmakers and drop the burden on the backs of the taxpayers who overwhelmingly oppose this deal."

Nader praised the few Senators who resisted the grab and were willing to raise questions as to the rationale of taking money from public funds where the need for schools, clinics and other public works far exceed the supply.

"It is encouraging to see that there were a handful of principled Senators who refused to broadside the citizens, while the majority were fantasizing about their luxury boxes at future games," said Nader.

The current legislative session comes to a close on Friday, May 17, which leaves little time to adequately debate the merits of a bill that contains several unpopular projects, none of which could stand on their own.

The lead project in the stadium-funding bill, which has been very unpopular among citizens in St. Louis as well as throughout the state of Missouri, contains $7 million annual taxpayer payments for 30 years to the St. Louis Cardinals for a new stadium. The project already has city and county taxpayer funding approved despite heavy local opposition.

The bill also contains $9.8 million annual taxpayer payments for 30 years for improvements on the two stadiums where the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs play.

In addition, the bill would allocate $3 million annual taxpayer payments for 30 years for maintenance and improvements to the St. Louis Blues' eight-year-old arena.

To gain state-wide legislative support, the bill contains $18 million for an exposition center in Springfield and $32 million for an arena and convention center in Branson.

In the final days of the current legislative session, House members will be under tremendous pressure from team ownership, corporate lobbyists, developers, bankers and compliant politicians who promise "economic development" and "return on investment" to boost support for the stadium-funding bill. But despite this ongoing propaganda, it's no secret that new stadiums do not trigger the renaissance of our cities, spur economic growth within them, or convince people to re-populate our cities.

Studies done by independent economists such as Andrew Zimbalist and Robert Baade, stress that there is no real economic benefit from public subsidization of stadiums. At the same time, public dollars wasted on stadiums to support billionaire owners drain funds from pressing investments in public facilities and services that focus on the well-being of citizens.

"The citizens of Missouri observed the total lack of respect for the democratic process on display in the Senate as they were denied a state-wide referendum and the vote was shoved through," Nader said. "Now as the House considers this corporate welfare boondoggle, Representatives should remember that their first duty is to the people of Missouri, not to super-wealthy sports moguls or their phony contention that public funds are needed for their teams to compete."


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 fan accountability, and encourage the sports industry to contribute to societal well-being. The League of Fans website is at: http://www.leagueoffans.org.


St. Louis Indymedia Center