Every year, millions of taxpayer dollars are poured into stadiums, hockey rinks, baseball parks, and other arenas in order to attract
and retain professional sports teams in big cities. Often the money is spent by the cities after a team "threatens" to leave the city.
When that happens, of course, the local news media act as the willing accomplices of the billionaires who own the teams. As a
practical matter, the news media have no choice. If the news coverage on Channel 37, for example, exposes the local team's
economic uselessness to the community, the chances are near zero that the sports anchor from Channel 37 will ever get access to the
locker room after a big game.
When city and state governments build facilities for sports organizations which are owned by billionaires, and raise taxes as a result,
it is clearly an abuse of power.
In addition to stadiums and arenas, the government also spends your money on smaller projects that add to your tax burden. For
List of Omnibus Earmarks includes
- $750,000 for the Baseball Hall of Fame
- $202,500 to the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, Sports Research Center in Patchogue, New York for facilities renovations
- $405,000 to the Staten Island Soccer League of New York for facilities construction
- $800,000 to the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority for facilities construction for the Mount VanHoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex
- $90,000 for the City of Waterbury, Connecticut for an economic feasibility study focused on construction of a multi-purpose sports facility
- $50,000 for "Pro Sports Outreach," whatever that is.
Obviously, there's no advertising on this page, so you might wonder about my motives. I'm
just not a sports fan. I do not understand why otherwise sensible people pay hundreds of dollars
per seat to watch a football game. Football is an even mixture of hedonism and idolatry.
Basketball is about the same. Look at the products that are advertised during a football
game: beer, luxury cars and pickup trucks, cell phones, and more beer. Look at the halftime
show at a football game: It's godless hedonism. Look at the "ring of honor" at the
stadium: It's idolatry.
In June, 2011, a quarter of a million people cheered in the streets as the Dallas
Mavericks celebrated their championship with a parade (paid for by Mark Cuban
and a full day of televised self-aggrandizement. But not one of the fans seems to understand that the basketball team's success does not benefit
the fans in any way. The fans went home sunburned and dehydrated and no better off than they were a month ago, yet they seem to think they've
accomplished something. I just don't get it.
This page has been put here to serve as an alarm to the overburdened taxpayer. When a city government
spends $10 million or $100 million on a stadium, where do you think the money came from? Is
the presence of a football team really so important? Wouldn't you prefer to keep your money in your
pocket, and let the billionaires pay their own bills?
Note: Regular visitors, if any, may notice that the Sports Page now includes material
about sports-related topics other than taxpayer-funded stadiums. That material is at the bottom
of the page.
In particular, the discussion about the allegedly offensive name of the football team in Washington DC is now
covered on its own page.
Stadiums and arenas in general:
Here is a list of "stimulus bill" projects
that include the word "Stadium."
Chargers propose joint use stadium in Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles, which has
been without a NFL team since 1995, may be home to two — possibly three — teams. The Oakland
Raiders and San Diego Chargers have jointly proposed to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Los Angeles
that each team would share. The proposal is for a privately financed stadium to be built in
Carson, located about 10 miles south of Los Angeles, representatives from each team said during
an announcement Thursday [2/19/2015].
bad economics of hosting the Super Bowl. Sports economists say hosting Super Bowl XLIX
won't create a huge economic boost for the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area, despite thousands of
football fans traveling to the area. Like most Super Bowl host cities, the Phoenix metropolitan
area is already a large economy, approximately $210 billion in size. To increase the metropolitan
economy by just 1 percent, the Super Bowl would have to create more than $2 billion in economic
growth. For comparison, a study funded by the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee found that visitors
spent $218 million when the area hosted the Super Bowl in 2008.
Bowl Host City Still Reeling Over Sports Deals. Glendale bet big on professional
sports in the last 15 years, spending millions of dollars on a hockey arena for the Arizona Coyotes
and investing heavily in a spring training ballpark for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Then the economy tanked, and the hockey team went through bankruptcy, with several different owners in recent years.
domain use for possible Olympic site feared. Should Boston ultimately be tapped to
host the 2024 Summer Games, the use of eminent domain will be a tempting option to help clear prized
land for Olympic venues, but deploying it, warns a legal expert, could cause disastrous ripple
effects with lasting economic harm. "There is a long history of using eminent domain to try to
promote economic development. Most of the time what happens is it tends to destroy more development
than it actually creates," said Ilya Somin, a George Mason University property law professor. "It
destroys existing businesses and homes. It undermines the security of property rights and it tends
to destroy people's social ties in their neighborhoods."
Racket. The justifications that governments give for subsidizing private developments
are often dubious, but this was particularly so for a recent New Jersey deal. This summer, the state
granted $82 million in tax credits to the Philadelphia 76ers to build a practice facility in Camden.
Although it will create only 50 jobs and be closed to the public, officials believe that its waterfront
presence will uplift the city. The credit was granted by a heavily indebted state to the team's billionaire
owner, for a city that suffers 16 percent unemployment and 42 percent poverty, and recently cut half of
its police force.
Fran Kisses Its 70,000-Person Toilet Goodbye. Candlestick Park, born in 1960 and scheduled to be executed
presently, was an unpleasant, uncomfortable, cold, remote, windblown penitentiary located as far from San Francisco as
this city's mythical 49-square-mile limit permitted.
empty, Bears Stadium costs Newark, Essex County millions. Newark, where more than a quarter of residents live in poverty,
is stuck paying $1 million a year on bonds for a baseball park that's lost its main tenant. The $34 million Bears & Eagles
Riverfront Stadium, envisioned as a pillar of development in the state's most populous city when it opened in 1999, is mostly silent this
season after the Newark Bears folded amid dwindling attendance. The owners are trying to sell the club after putting belongings,
including the team bus, up for auction in April.
alternative to Walmart? Downtown baseball stadium. In an effort to block Walmart's
proposed store in the city's downtown, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt is pitching the idea of instead
using the site for a new baseball stadium. Schmitt has floated the stadium idea privately to
several aldermen and other civic leaders as an alternative to Walmart's planned retail superstore
in the Broadway shopping district.
would put up his own money for new Bills stadium if bid is accepted. Billionaire
developer Donald Trump said Monday [5/26/2014] that he's willing to put up some of his own money to
help build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills if his bid to buy the team is successful. Asked
about contributing money to a new Bills stadium during a brief interview before a speech at the
National Press Club, Trump said, "I think I would. If my bid were accepted, I would certainly do
what I could do." The new Bills stadium is likely to involve public financing as well, Trump said
in the interview, in which he reiterated the team's need for a new facility and said his employees
had already scouted out a couple of good stadium sites in Buffalo.
Very slightly off-topic:
Christie backers awarded $223m tax break to build New Jersey mall. A major new
shopping mall and housing development in New Jersey, which is controlled by the biggest corporate
funders of Chris Christie's official mansion, has been awarded a $223m public subsidy by the
governor's administration. Luxury Point, a vast retail, residential and entertainment complex to
be built in Sayreville, was last month given one of the biggest corporate tax breaks handed out so
far by the Republican governor's state authorities, which are facing a $2.7bn budget shortfall over
the next year.
Just a little off-topic:
in tax credits for firm to move one floor up in Jersey City office tower. An
Atlanta-based payment processing firm that rents space on the 39th floor of a Downtown Jersey City
tower will receive $6 million in state tax credits over the next 20 years to move one floor up in
the same building. The state Economic Development Authority approved the tax credits at its August
meeting, saying First Data was considering a move to Atlanta. First Data's Jersey City expansion
will result in 74 new jobs, a figure touted yesterday by Mayor Steve Fulop, who said the deal is
proof that Jersey City is becoming a "preferred location" for businesses.
Brazil World Cup Extremely
Costly. Brazil's World Cup stadium will cost $900 million in public funds due to allegedly
fraudulent billing, the Associated Press reports. The cost of the stadium has tripled, making it the
world's second-most expensive soccer stadium.
advice to World Cup tourists: 'Don't scream if robbed'. Rather than ignore the many
problems plaguing the country's preparations for its games — drought, murder, striking police,
ballooning costs, mismanagement and Dengue fever — police are inching toward resignation. They know
Rio de Janeiro state, which saw more than 4,000 murders in 2012, is pretty dangerous. And the
600,000 tourists who are expected to descend upon Rio should know it, too. So Rio police have
compiled a list of tips on navigating the city's violence, including asking tourists to refrain from
screaming if someone robs them.
Super Bowl cost NJ Transit
$5.6 million. New Jersey's playing host to the Super Bowl cost NJ Transit $5.6 million, its executive director
told a state Senate panel Thursday [5/1/2014]. Ronnie Hakim said expenses to the agency — which moved
ticketholders from Secaucus Junction to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford for the Feb. 2 game — were
$7.2 million, including overtime and other costs during Super Bowl week. That was offset by $1.6 million
in revenue from ticket sales and Pepsi advertising on njtransit.com, on trains and throughout the Secaucus Junction station,
Cracker Jack and ballpark welfare. Lawmakers from Miami to San Diego to Seattle have spent hundreds of
millions of public dollars on ballparks so billionaire owners didn't have to reach into their own pockets to pay for a
place to put their businesses. In Miami, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria persuaded Miami-Dade County taxpayers to
build a baseball stadium with a retractable roof for his team in Little Havana. By the time taxpayers
pay off the interest, the stadium will have cost the public $3 billion. Despite guarantees
that the stadium, which opened in 2012, would lure fans to the park in droves, the Marlins rank 26th in the
majors in attendance, drawing fewer than 20,000 fans a game.
Public Funding of Sports
Stadiums: Spreadsheet appears to show the percentage of public funding for each of 54 arenas.
Football: A Waste of Taxpayers' Money.
The NFL's Vikings are lousy at scoring touchdowns — they have the worst record in the NFC North — but they've proven
remarkably adept in shaking down Minnesotans for free money. Next year they'll be playing ball in a brand-spanking new $975 million
complex in downtown Minneapolis, more than half of whose cost is being picked up by state and local taxpayers.
Court Allows Taking Of Private Land To Build A Major League Soccer Stadium. Last Friday [1/31/2014], the Orlando Sentinel and
News 13 Orlando both reported that a Florida Circuit Court upheld the City of Orlando's decision to take private property located on West
Church Street to build a soccer stadium for Orlando City SC, which is Major League Soccer's newest expansion team.
Hasn't Stopped Detroit's Plan for Public Funding of New Sports Stadium. Detroit is declaring bankruptcy while its city council considers
contributing public money to build a new Hockey Stadium for the billionaire owner of the Red Wings.
The Dark Side of the Atlanta Braves New Stadium.
Why would the Braves move from a convenient, fan-friendly stadium that's only 17 years old to the traffic gridlock hell at the interchange of
interstates I-75 and I-285? Because Cobb County officials bribed the team's owners with $450 million of taxpayers' money, that's why.
That means failing business owners, struggling single mothers, the unemployed and families fighting to make ends meet will be forced to pick up most of
the tab for the cost of a new state-of-the-art baseball stadium so the team's owners don't have to.
Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb.
Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller, in a meeting with a small group of reporters, said the new ballpark will be built at the
northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area. They said the team has "secured" approximately 60 acres of land
for the project. The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in
partnership with Cobb County.
It's (Financially) In the
Hole! The Red Wing City Council put Mississippi National Golf Links out to pasture for the year, buying time to sort out what's become
a $150,000 annual financial handicap on average for local taxpayers. "We all know what the lay of the land is for golf courses," said Rick
Moskwa, public works director in Red Wing. "They're all struggling. There's an over-saturation in this area for sure but I don't know
what the likelihood of somebody coming in and saying we're interested in running something like this is and if that's even possible that it can
Eminent domain and the Sacramento Kings.
Apparently we have arrived in the brave new world where the government can seize the property of private businesses such as Macy's or of individual
homeowners and declare that it's in the public interest to put a privately owned soccer stadium in its place. And this assertion is made in the
face of historical evidence, as [Ilya] Somin points out, that sports stadiums almost always turn out to be economic losers for the communities where
they are constructed.
Denial in Detroit as
City Plans $400 Million Taxpayer Funded Hockey Arena. Defenders of the plan say that it is part of an overall economic development scheme
and will "provide jobs."
New $444 million hockey arena is still a go in
Detroit. Detroit's financial crisis hasn't derailed the city's plans to spend more than $400 million in Michigan taxpayer
funds on a new hockey arena for the Red Wings. Advocates of the arena say it's the kind of economic development needed to attract both
people and private investment dollars into downtown Detroit.
$574 Million to Keep NBA's Kings. In a bid to keep the city's lone major professional sports team from bolting to Seattle,
Sacramento's City Council has voted to approve a deal for a new downtown arena for the NBA's Sacramento Kings. The deal is estimated
to cost taxpayers at least $574 million in debt payments over the 35-year life of the bonds that would be issued to fund the arena's
Cubs Pledge $300 Mil. to Renovate Wrigley
Field. The owners of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team say they are willing to spend $300 million of their own money to
renovate their home ballpark, the nearly 100-year-old Wrigley Field. In 2012 the Ricketts family, who own the Cubs, appeared to be closing in on
a taxpayer-funded stadium renovation plan with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But Emanuel backed away after Cubs trustee/owner Joe Ricketts
considered funding a TV commercial campaign against the reelection of President Barack Obama.
Chicago Suburb Borrows Millions
to Repay Stadium Debt. Saddled with debt payments after sinking $135 million into the construction of a soccer stadium, the
Chicago-area suburb of Bridgeview recently had to borrow an additional $27 million to cover required bond payments. The Chicago
Tribune reported the new borrowing comes on top of more than $218 million in debt cited in the village's 2011 audited statements.
Bill Aims to Slow Borrowing by
Illinois Municipalities. The bill comes in the wake of news stories about property taxes soaring in numerous communities where local
governments have borrowed money with the promise it would cost taxpayers nothing. Sports stadiums, golf courses, village halls, and other
facilities built or bought with alternate revenue bonds are supposed to generate enough money to repay the debts. In many instances, the
revenues have fallen woefully short, forcing taxpayers to cover the difference.
Small Town Gets Big-League Debt with
Stadium Deal. While large cities tend to receive attention for big-league deals giving tax money to build stadiums for pro sports teams,
small towns have also been stepping up to the plate to lure minor-league or second-tier professional sports teams. Many of those small towns are
losing big. One is Bridgeview, Illinois, which is in dire financial straits because its taxpayer-owned soccer stadium has failed to generate the
promised operational revenues and regional economic benefits that stadium backers had touted. The town built the stadium with $135 million
in general-obligation bonds.
Minnesota to Send
Nearly $500 Million to Billionaire Team Owners. Nearly $500 million in taxpayer subsidies will go to a new stadium for the Minnesota
Vikings of the National Football League. Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) signed the bill authorizing the taxpayer giveaway in May. Many Vikings fans
greeted the bill signing with jubilation. Taxpayer advocates and economists who study the impact of sports stadiums warned the promised benefits
are unlikely to materialize. The team's principal owner is billionaire real estate magnate Zygmunt Wilf.
2012": The National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers' Association
(PGA) classify themselves as non-profit organizations to exempt themselves from federal income taxes on earnings. Smaller
sports leagues, such as the National Lacrosse League, are also using the tax status. Taxpayers may be losing at least
$91 million subsidizing these tax loopholes for professional sports leagues that generate billions of dollars annually
in profits. [...] Almost half of professional football teams are valued at over $1 billion.
STOP the Wilmington Tax-Funded Stadium. A local baseball
stadium will do nothing in any impactful way to stimulate our local eocnomy. The etaphor of filling one side of a
swimming pool with water collected from the opposite side explains this perfectly. Local residents do not bury their
expendable cash for entertainment purposes in a coffee can in the backyard waiting for a stadium to be built. They
currently spend what they can afford in our many already existing local attractions, shopping, and dining. A baseball
stadium will do nothing more than redirect a family's entertainment funds that would have been spent anyway in the local
Minnesota to Send Nearly
$500 Million to Billionaire Team Owners. Nearly $500 million in taxpayer subsidies will go to a new stadium
for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) signed the bill authorizing the
taxpayer giveaway in May. Many Vikings fans greeted the bill-signing with jubilation. Taxpayer advocates and economists
who study the impact of sports stadiums warned the promised benefits are unlikely to materialize. The team's principal
owner is billionaire real estate magnate Zygmunt Wilf.
St. Louis Rejects $700 Million
Stadium Renovation Plan. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) has rejected a proposal for an
estimated $700 million in renovations to the Edward Jones Dome, home field of the Rams of the National Football League.
The CVC's decision to reject the Rams' proposal, announced in early June, follows the team's rejection of a proposal by the CVC
for $124 million in renovations. The matter could go to arbitration. The CVC has the authority to accept or
reject any plan the arbitrators select or create.
Hell to the Redskins. When compared to the
$498 million fleecing Minnesota taxpayers just endured, the $6.4 million Virginia taxpayers will be spending — thanks to
Republican Governor Bob McDonnell — on improvements to the Redskins' training facilities looks like small potatoes. Regardless
of size, both the Vikings' new stadium and the Redskins "deal" feature the same credulous acceptance of imaginary threats, insider dealing and
Babbitt boosterism that undermines the democratic process and contributes to voter alienation.
Public Funding of Sports Stadiums. Since 2000,
28 new major league stadiums have been built costing over $9 billion dollars. More than half, over $5 billion, of the costs
of the new stadiums were funded using public dollars. In Utah, 4 stadiums have been built since 1991 costing $386 million in
today's dollars; $200 million (in today's dollars) of that total was paid out of the coffers of Utah cities, Salt Lake County and the State
Game over: Public financing of stadiums.
For years, owners got their way — mostly by pitting one market against another, preying on civic insecurity. "If you don't give me what I want,
I might be forced to relocate my team to a city with more appreciative fans." Now, though, the cleat is on the other foot. It's the taxpayers
pitting owners against owners. "If teams in other cities can build their pavilions without public help," they ask, "Why can't you?"
New stadiums —
taking from the old and sick and giving to millionaires. When new sport stadiums are financed with public money, research has shown
that the population is actually worse off economically than before the stadium. This flies in the face of the argument that stadium
proponents advance, mainly that a new stadium brings new jobs and economic expansion. Let's look at the costs and benefits from a new
stadium from both the perspective of the team, and of the "public."
Public Funding of Stadiums Archives. A seven-year
collection of news stories.
Media Bias and Public Stadium Funding.
If these are such obviously bad deals, then why does the public tolerate the public funding of sports venues? [Rick] Eckstein has an answer.
Stadium promises never pay. [Scroll
down] In a just-released article in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, my colleagues and I studied media coverage of 23 publicly financed
stadium initiatives in 16 different cities, including Philadelphia. We found that the mainstream media in most of these cities is noticeably
biased toward supporting publicly financed stadiums, which has a significant impact on the initiatives' success. This bias usually takes the form of
uncritically parroting stadium proponents' economic and social promises, quoting stadium supporters far more frequently than stadium opponents, overlooking
the numerous objective academic studies on the topic, and failing to independently examine the multitude of failed stadium-centered promises throughout the
country, especially those in oft-cited "success cities" such as Denver and Cleveland.
Examination of Sporting Event Economic Impact Studies. Economists widely believe that studies sponsored
by leagues and events exaggerate the economic impact that professional franchises and large sporting events make on
local communities. Such overstatement results from several factors. First, the studies often ignore the
substitution effect. To the extent that attendees at a sporting event spend their money on that event
instead of on other activities in the local economy, the sporting event simply results in reallocation of
expenditures in the economy, rather than in real net increases in economic activity.
Metropolitan Prosperity From
Major League Sports in the CBD. Whether it is publicly or privately financed, a metropolitan area
receives the same benefits from an arena or a stadium. Nevertheless, usually at least a portion of the
$100 to $500 million cost of a new arena or stadium is funded with public dollars. The reason
is that owners of professional sports teams have been effective at threatening city officials with alternative
locations. One important issue, then, is whether the employment and income benefits from the new sports
facility are greater than the public cost.
The Growth Effects of Sport Franchises, Stadia and Arenas.
This paper investigates the relationship between professional sports franchises and venues and real per capita
personal income in 37 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States over the period 1969-1994.
Our empirical framework accounts for the entry and departure of professional football, basketball and baseball
franchises; the construction of arenas and stadia; and other sports-related factors over this time period.
In contrast to other existing studies, we find evidence that some professional sports franchises reduce the
level of per capita personal income in metropolitan areas and have no effect on the growth in per capita
income, casting doubt on the ability of a new sports franchise or facility to spur economic growth.
Sources of Misapplication. Many sports events, facilities, and franchises are subsidized either
directly or indirectly by investments from public sector funds. The scarcity of tax dollars has led to
growing public scrutiny of their allocations.
Public Funding of Sports
Stadiums. Since 2000, 28 new major league stadiums have been built costing over
nine billion dollars. More than half, over $5 billion, of the costs of the new stadiums were
funded using public dollars. ... Across the nation, franchises have argued that building a new stadium will
lead to economic development in the form of increased incomes, jobs and tax revenues. However, the
preponderance of academic research has disputed these claims.
The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic
Development. The evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city
and building that franchise a new stadium or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita
income and may reduce the level of real per capita income in that city. Yet government decisionmakers and
politicians continue to try to attract professional sports franchises to cities, or use public funds to construct
elaborate new facilities in order to keep existing franchises from moving. ... However, regardless of the
size of the nonpecuniary benefits, one thing is clear from the evidence on professional sports franchises:
owners are reaping substantial benefits in the value of their teams because they are so skilled at the stadium gambit.
Action U.S.A. — Cincinnati Chapter. The Citizens' League Against Subsidized Sports
is an initiative designed to restore fiscal sanity to the relationship between professional teams and the
communities that host them. Professional sports franchises are a multi-billion dollar business
nationwide. Yet in cities across the country, those cash-rich organizations say they "need" taxpayers
to cover their business expenses — specifically, the maintenance and operation of stadiums which
were built originally with taxpayer dollars.
Group Begins Effort to Put Ticket Tax on
the Ballot. A local group is beginning an effort to put a ticket tax on the ballot in November
to help eliminate the deficit in the stadium fund. Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune held a
news conference Saturday [5/21/2011] to announce the plan. Paperwork he provided shows the group's
name would be CLASS Action. It stands for the Citizens League Against Subsidized Sports.
Group Wants to Shift Stadium
Costs to Primary Users. In 1996, Hamilton County voters approved a sales tax to pay for the
construction of Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. The sales tax hasn't kept up
with projections, meaning County leaders have had to pay the bills with money from other sources.
Also, the lease requires the County to pay for much of the maintainence and upkeep at the stadiums, and
those costs are rising as the two faciliities age. Todd Portune says those who use the stadium the
most should be the ones paying for them, not the average taxpayer.
The Municipal Debt Bubble:
When state and local governments want to spend more than they collect in revenues, they issue bonds. Such
bonds are a longstanding feature of the American landscape, going back at least as far as 1812, but during the
last decade they have spun out of control, as states and cities have increased their borrowing to indulge in
more and more spending on new stadiums, schools, bridges, and museums. They have even started borrowing
to cover their basic operational expenses. Since 2000 the total outstanding state and municipal bond
debt, adjusted for inflation, has soared from $1.5 trillion to $2.8 trillion. The recession
didn't slow the spending.
Energized in the Sunshine State. Politicians in both parties should cast their eyes towards
Miami if they believe they can continue to ignore the will of the electorate. Republican Mayor Carlos
Alvarez who was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, was given the boot in a recall election that
was stunning in terms of percentages. With one hundred percent of the vote counted, 88% of Miami-Dade
voters decided enough was enough. What did Alvarez in? Tax hikes, raises for members of his
inner circle, and an ill-fated decision to have taxpayers underwrite a portion of the building costs for
a new Florida Marlins baseball stadium.
Want Economic Stimulus? Don't Build a
Sports Stadium! For the last few decades sports teams across the country have nosed up to the
public trough and demanded that states and cities chip in millions for the construction of new sports stadiums.
To justify the public expense the claim has been made that these monstrous construction projects bring a wealth
of jobs and spending on entertainment and are a boon to any city that will fund them. But are they?
Do these multi-million dollar projects bring such lucrative benefits to the cities and states that pay through
the nose for them?
Stadiums as Wise Investments. In some respects, not much has changed since the early days of
professional sports. Today, one of the most popular ways for a city to demonstrate its interest in a
professional sports franchise is to possess a facility in which the team can play. In other respects,
however, a great deal has changed since [William] Cammeyer opened the first stadium. Today, the
facility used to attract a franchise is not likely to be owned by a private entrepreneur
manager-owner, but rather by a government agency.
Municipal Debt Racket. New Jersey officials recently celebrated the selection of the new
stadium in the Meadowlands sports complex as the site of the 2014 Super Bowl. Absent from the
festivities was any sense of the burden the complex has become for taxpayers. Nearly 40 years ago
the Garden State borrowed $302 million to begin constructing the Meadowlands. The goal was to pay
off the bonds in 25 years. ... Today, the authority that runs the Meadowlands is in hock for
$830 million, which it can't pay back.
Blocked party: NFL bars host
town from using 'Super Bowl' name. The sports world is converging on East Rutherford (pop. 8,978) for Sunday's game between the Denver
Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and all the town wanted to do was have a little block party for locals not rich or lucky enough to have tickets.
The NFL can't stop the party, but they did bar East Rutherford from using the phrase "Super Bowl" in any description of the humble event, set to
take place Sunday afternoon in the shadow of the town's most famous building, MetLife Stadium.
As Super Bowl exits NJ, taxpayers on hook for many
expenses. As the NFL packs out of town, with their self-proclaimed all-American extravaganza, we should say good riddance, and make sure
they don't come back with their big money, big everything, big game. Because you, New Jersey taxpayer, are on the hook for the league's big party
Red Hot Chili Peppers Admit Their
Guitars Were Unplugged During [...] Halftime Show. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been in hot water this week after careful analysis
of the [big] halftime show footage revealed that the band's instruments weren't plugged in to anything. Flea, the Peppers' zany bassist,
took to the band's blog Tuesday evening [2/4/2014] to explain why they were essentially playing air guitar alongside headliner Bruno Mars.
The Editor says...
Politicians Smother Cities.
[Scroll down] Politicians claim that stadiums increase the number of jobs. Not so, says J.C. Bradbury,
author of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed. "There's a huge consensus among
economists that there is no economic development benefit to having these stadiums," he says. The
stadiums do create jobs for construction workers and some vendors. But "it's a case of the seen and the
unseen," Bradbury says, alluding to the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat. "It's very easy
to see a new stadium going up. ... But what you don't see is that something else didn't get built across town. ... It's
just transferring from one place to the other.
A lot of people paid a lot of money to see the Big Event, and the halftime show is supposed to be a significant inducement to attend. If
I had bought an expensive ticket and ended up watching a lip sync show, I'd be plenty miffed.
Or Else. The Seattle Supersonics have determined that their home, Key Arena — last
refurbished 10 years ago to the tune of $95 million — is deficient. Only
45 percent of Key Arena's suites are rented, whereas in other cities the suites run at
90 percent to 100 percent capacity. … So the team's principal owner,
Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company, has begun reading from a
Opening day subsidies: Publicly funded
sports stadiums are like crack cocaine to local politicians and business bigwigs. These folks are just
like addicts: They deceive everyone around them for the sake of a fix and rarely take no for an answer
when voters decline to subsidize their schemes. Instead, they resort to theft — in the form of
dubious hotel, sales, and other taxes — to pay for their fix, forcing citizens who couldn't care less
about sports to subsidize teams.
Public welfare for
billionaires — Pro-Sports Stadiums. Owners of pro-sports franchises are pressuring many
cities to provide luxurious stadiums at taxpayer expense. But some communities are throwing up a tough
Eight reasons to reject
publicly financed stadiums for professional sports teams: Providing public subsidies
for private stadiums in corporate welfare plain and simple. Public subsidies for stadiums go
directly into the pockets of team owners and players by increasing profits, player salaries and
raising the re-sale value of the team. … The billionaire team owners and the players profit,
but the taxpayer doesn't see a dime.
Does Public Investment in Municipal
Sports Stadiums Pay Off? Critics of public investment in new stadiums also note that the
multiplier effects of new stadiums is likely to be small since most new stadiums contain larger parking,
restaurant, souvenir, and other concession facilities. This reduces the amount of spillover benefits in
the neighboring community. Most economic studies have found that the local economy receives at best
only limited economic benefits from the construction of such stadiums.
For Sports Stadiums Don't Spur Economic Growth. America is in the midst of a sports stadium
building binge fueled by a considerable dose of public funding. Nationally, public subsidies for
stadiums exceed $500 million a year. Oklahoma City joined the building binge by funding a
new 18,000-seat arena as part of the MAPS program. Subsidies have not been limited to major league
sports; many communities have built facilities for minor-league sports teams as well.
Financing Professional Sports Facilities:
Public financing of large public facilities is always a challenge. Will it be worth the cost? How
will the construction costs be funded? Is it an appropriate use of public funds? Advocates for new
sports facilities often stress the economic benefits that a new facility can bring to the community.
Opponents frequently point out that many economic impact studies on the topic have found that the benefits
may not be substantial.
Stadium Finance: Government's Role in the
1990s. Public financing of sports facilities for professional sports teams has been the subject
of growing controversy in recent years. For decades, full public financing of sports stadiums and arenas
was the norm. In the last decade, however, demands for more elaborate and costly facilities on the part
of owners and the increasingly limited resources of state and local governments have challenged the wisdom
of this policy.
My stadium's better than your
stadium.... "I'm not sure it's stadium envy as much as it is the machinery of state and local
politics and getting politically potent people the things they want," said Rodney Fort, an economics professor
at Washington State University who has co-written a book on stadium construction and politics of sports
titled, "Hard Ball, The Abuse of Power in Pro Team Sports."
People Versus Politicians: Legalized corruption is widespread and that's the job of 35,000
Washington, D.C., lobbyists earning millions upon millions of dollars. ... For the right price, a tax loophole,
saving a company tens of millions of dollars, can be inserted into tax law, a la the Charlie Rangel
scandal. At state levels, governors can award public works contracts to a generous constituent. At
the local levels mayors can confer favors such as providing subsidies for sports stadia and convention centers.
When politicians can give favors, they will find buyers.
Island-Area Voters Nix Stadium Subsidy Proposal. The owner of the New York Islanders of the
National Hockey League threatened to move his team unless he receives hundreds of millions of dollars of
taxpayer backing for a new stadium. Taxpayers in Long Island and surrounding Nassau County responded
with a message that could be interpreted as, "Don't let the door hit you on the behind on your way out."
Voters in August overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to borrow $400 million for the Islanders and their billionaire
owner, Charles Wang. A minor league baseball stadium also would have been built. The vote was
57% to 43% against.
evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city and building that franchise a new stadium
or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita income and may reduce the level of real per capita
income in that city."
A few words about the 2011 Super Bowl:
On November 2, 2004, the citizens of Arlington, Texas, voted to increase the city sales tax in order
to contribute $350,000,000 to the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. Many of the same voters also fell
for the same sales pitch ten years ago when the baseball stadium was built for the Texas Rangers.
By now, Arlington was supposed to have turned into a thriving boom town — a mecca of
tourism year round — according to the promises made ten years ago. And of course it
isn't, but the voters just can't say no, because Football is involved, and Football (with a
capital F) is somehow more important than almost anything else.
I'm glad I don't live in Arlington.
Cowboys Stadium Exempt From Blackouts? As brief power outages rolled across the state on
Wednesday [2/2/2011], certain places were intended to be exempt from a temporary loss of electricity.
That included hospitals, nursing homes, fire stations, police stations, other emergency response
facilities... and Cowboys Stadium?
Does this sound like a business that needs tax breaks?
Super Bowl 45 Will
Break Records. A new attendance record will be set: well over 103,000 fans at the palatial
Cowboys Dome in Arlington, Texas. A new record for the cost of advertising on the game has been reached.
Advertising on Fox for the Super Bowl is at a cool $100,000... per second. Yes, 100K per tick,
$3 million for thirty whole seconds. Better be a good ad!
Stadium Super Bowl parking reaches up to $1100. The face value of Super Bowl tickets —
up to $1,200 — elicits awe from football fans every year. Perhaps the biggest sticker shock
this time around, though, was parking. While many will pay less than $100 for parking Sunday, the highest
priced spot near Cowboys Stadium recently sold for $1,099. That outlandish price — with two
more spots still available — caught the attention of media around the country.
items not allowed at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. As part of the increased security surrounding
the Super Bowl, NFL and federal authorities are limiting what fans can bring to Cowboys Stadium. Everyone
entering the stadium must pass through a magnatometer [sic], such as those used at airports, and get a patdown as
part of the screening process.
seat screw-up jilts 400 ticketholders. For a game that was planned for years, Sunday's Super
Bowl XLV was a pre-game nightmare for those outside and inside Cowboys Stadium. Fans could not get into
the stadium for hours because of gate closings and, once inside, some unlucky fans found that their seats were
covered by big black tarps and unusable.
But what about the halftime show?
Lingering Stench of the Black Eyed Peas. So the Super Bowl came and went like a fat, sweaty,
overbearing relative — and it left a stench in the bathroom that can only be described as the
Black Eyed Peas. Yes — once again we are suffocated by the American assumption that what is
lapped up by teenage girls is also lapped up by everyone else over fourteen.
Oh, but at least the National Anthem was inspiring, wasn't it?
The national anthem isn't
a pop song. I've heard quite a bit of criticism of Christina Aguilera's embarrassing rendition
of our national anthem prior to kick-off Sunday night. Most of the comments have been focused on her
botching the lyrics. Fair enough. But why should we be so critical of a pop star who probably
has no idea of the origins of "The Star Spangled Banner" or any sense that the song's designation as our
national anthem makes it about all of us, not about her moment on the stage?
As you may recall, the roof was closed that day.
spent $450,000 of taxpayer money on Super Bowl flyover. The U.S. Navy has been criticised
for spending almost half a million dollars of taxpayers' money on a flyover at the Super Bowl — while
the stadium roof was closed. The estimated $450,000 expense was for four fighter jets that flew
from Virginia to Texas and over the retractable roof of Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. As it was
broadcast on screens at the Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, spectators inside the stadium got the same view
as people watching the five-second shot at home.
The Super Bowl flyover may
have cost $450,000. The fans inside Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV had as good a view of
the flyover by four F-18 fighter jets as those watching at home. With the roof closed on Jerry Jones'
$1.2 billion stadium, people in attendance were forced to watch the flyover on the massive high-def
The Editor says...
Really, whose idea was it to fly four jets from Virginia for this five-second appearance over the Super Bowl?
There are plenty of loud jets in Texas. I think they still
have B-1 bombers in
Abilene -- less than 200 miles away -- and they're plenty loud.
No Super Bowl surge here:
tax revenues rebound across Texas. Arlington will receive $5.8 million from the
comptroller's office for April, up 4.52 percent over a year ago. ... March state sales tax
revenue and April payments made to local governments represent sales that occurred in February.
The Editor says...
The statewide average was +5.16 percent.*
Specific taxpayer funded stadiums and sporting events:
Cowboys Stadium to be renamed AT&T
Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys announced a multi-year, multimillion-dollar branding deal Thursday [7/25/2013] that will change
the name of Cowboys Stadium to AT&T Stadium. Team owner Jerry Jones said he wants his $1.2 billion showplace to be a building "more
familiar than the White House."
Sacramento Keeps NBA's Kings, But
Gives Up Hundreds of Millions of $$$. The Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association have a new billionaire team owner, and
that billionaire will have a new stadium for his team, courtesy of local taxpayers. Two days after the NBA rejected a bid to move the Kings to
Seattle, the Maloof family agreed to sell the Kings to a new group of investors who promise to keep the team in Sacramento. The announcement
follows the Sacramento City Council's approval of a deal for a new downtown basketball arena that has a total cost of more than $700 million.
Chicago Suburb Borrows Millions
to Repay Stadium Debt. Saddled with debt payments after sinking $135 million into the construction of a soccer stadium, the
Chicago-area suburb of Bridgeview recently had to borrow an additional $27 million to cover required bond payments. The Chicago
Tribune reported the new borrowing comes on top of more than $218 million in debt cited in the village's 2011 audited statements.
Brian Costin, director of government reform at the Illinois Policy Institute, reviewed several financial reports for the city and stadium, named
Toyota Park, and saw serious consequences for the village's stadium borrowing.
High school football: It's a Texas tradition. It's a religion. It's an incurable disease.
high school unveils Texas-size $60 million football stadium that seats 18,000. At least one Texas high school has achieved
gridiron glory before the football season starts. Allen High School in suburban Dallas unveiled a new stadium recently that seats
18,000 spectators and cost $60 million to build. The pigskin palace features a high-definition scoreboard, a multi-level press
box, wrestling and weight rooms, and a golf practice area.
SEC probes $634M financing of
new Marlins stadium. SEC subpoenas to the city and Miami-Dade County are seeking a long list of documents and records, including
those involving meetings and communications between government officials and executives with the Marlins and Major League Baseball.
Why public funding for a Vikings stadium doesn't make sense.
To put this proposal into terms to which we can relate, as it passed out of the Senate Finance Committee this week, the legislation would provide public
money in an amount equivalent to a $77.30 per ticket subsidy for each of the 65,000 seats at every Vikings home game. That's $77 in taxpayer funds
for each ticket, at every game, including preseason ones, for the next 30 years.
debate over public financing for a new Falcons stadium. A new study has raised the extreme possibility that the Atlanta Falcons, within a few years,
will be scrimmaging in a new, $1 billion stadium with a retractable roof. Roughly a third of the cost — $300 million is the figure in
current usage — is likely to be borne by those who check into Fulton County hotels and motels, via a 7 percent surcharge on their room bills.
The 20-year-old Georgia Dome, also built with a flow of taxpayer cash, would be demolished.
The Editor says...
The old stadium is only 20 years old. One could reasonably conclude that Atlanta will have to go through this process again every 20 years.
city taxpayers won't pay for 'Skins training facility. Fear not, D.C. taxpayers. Even
the D.C. Council's biggest proponent for returning the Redskins to the District knows the city can't actually
spend money on building a training facility to lure the team back within city lines. Ward 2 Councilman
Jack Evans was asked about the possibility Friday [3/2/2012] on WAMU radio's "Politics Hour" show, where he
said it's no secret the Redskins want to relocate because their current facility in Ashburn is "one of
the worst in the league."
backed Pittsburgh stadium tax hike. Santorum friends and former Republican associates there say
that as a U.S. senator, he astonished them by lobbying for a boost in the sales tax in 11 southwestern
Pennsylvania counties to pay for building a new stadium for the Pittsburgh Steelers and another new stadium for
the Pittsburgh Pirates. The teams owners were threatening to move their teams elsewhere if the government
didn't give them what they demanded. "It was a sweetheart deal for the two teams, a total taxpayer giveaway,"
Larry Dunn, who was a Republican and the commission chairman of Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.
'MNF' game experiences second power outage. "I just feel like San Francisco took a big step to
show the NFL and to show the state of California that they need a new stadium," Steelers FS Ryan Clark said
following the game. "I think it was a very strategic move, and Candlestick may be no more."
The Editor says...
If the stadium needs new power transformers, it isn't necessary to replace the entire stadium.
Only slightly off-topic:
Cuomo's big development plan for Aqueduct holds promise. Of the many ambitious plans Gov. Cuomo laid
out in his second State of the State speech, none had more wow than putting the world's biggest convention center
at Aqueduct Racetrack. The proposed 3.8 million-square-foot facility — to be built on state
land with $4 billion in private money — would create thousands of jobs, boost New York City's
status as a tourist magnet and make far better use of a grossly underused property a stone's throw from Kennedy
Dayton wants deeper review of Vikings'
stadium proposal. Gov. Mark Dayton is asking the Metropolitan Council and his stadium czar to
quickly analyze and determine the remaining issues on the Minnesota Vikings stadium proposal for the Arden Hills. ...
The county and the team announced an agreement in May to build a $1 billion stadium in Arden Hills.
The was virtually ignored by the Legislature as state leaders tried to reach agreement on the two-year budget.
governor says $4 million 'bribe' for Pro Bowl is wasteful. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said
Thursday [6/9/2011] it's "so stupid" that the cash-strapped state pays millions to play host to the Pro Bowl
when the money could be used for education.
Don't count on Vikings stadium in special
session. Though many expect a new Minnesota Vikings stadium to be considered at a special legislative
session, there are those who think the increasing war of words between Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republicans who control
the House and Senate may prevent that. One is Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, who was first elected to the
Legislature in 1976 and is one of the longest-serving lawmakers at the State Capitol. Another may be Sen. Dave
Thompson, R-Lakeville, one of a group of influential freshman Republican legislators.
Arden Hills stadium a done stadium
deal? Hardly. The push to build a new Minnesota Vikings stadium took more frantic twists and
turns Thursday as the team suggested critics might be trying to scuttle its plan to build in Ramsey County
and influential business leaders worked to swing the project back to Minneapolis. ... There were also
indications the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners has enough votes to back the $1 billion project in
suburban Arden Hills.
Arizona city's sports mania encounters a hard check. Taxes provided $346 million of the
$455 million cost of the huge retractable-roof NFL stadium where the Arizona Cardinals will play
10 times this season, if there is a season. But Glendale (population 253,000) has a more
immediate problem with its hockey team, the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes. After the team entered bankruptcy
in 2009, the NHL bought it for $140 million and has lost at least $30 million operating it.
Boulder City. How did this little city rack up so much debt? Much, if not most of it,
comes from the city council's decision — without bothering to waste their time asking for
public approval — to build the Boulder Creek Golf Club, which opened in 2003. One
can easily understand the life-or-death need for a place to go golfing, of course. Yet, this
was the city's second public course. The first, built in 1971, was approved by voters.
Mysteriously, once the second course was operational, the first (as well as the second) began to
lose money, with revenues falling from over $600,000 annually to only $40,000.
Texas agrees deal to host
F1. Formula One will return to the United States in 2012 with a 10-year deal for a race in the
Texas state capital Austin, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has announced. "For the first time in
the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the
event," the Briton told the F1 website. Austin, the 15th largest city in the United States, will host
the race until 2021.
gets built, Mesa will keep Cubs. To the sound of cheers and whistles of triumph, the owners of the
Chicago Cubs officially announced Wednesday [1/27/2010] that they intend to keep their spring-training home in Mesa
but only if the state and the city can muster the $84 million to build a new stadium and practice complex.
say they need public money for stadium. For seven years, the San Diego Chargers have said they
would build a new stadium without using taxpayer money. Thursday [12/10/2009], a team spokesman said
otherwise. "It's almost certainly going to involve some sort of taxpayer money," said Chargers special
counsel Mark Fabiani, who has led the team's stadium search since 2002.
Rules Private Land Can Be Seized for NBA Arena. New York's highest court ruled Tuesday [11/24/2009]
that it's lawful for a state economic development agency to seize private land to build an arena for a professional
basketball team. The 6-1 ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals allows the contentious $4.9 billion,
22-acre Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, N.Y., to proceed. The proposed development includes office
towers, apartments and a new arena for the NBA's New Jersey Nets.
Anatomy of an Earmark.
The old Tiger Stadium was built in 1912 and was the home of Detroit's big-league team until 1999. After
the Tigers moved to a new stadium a mile away, it became the subject of intense controversy about what should
be done with it. The city wanted to tear it down. Local preservationists wanted to turn it into a
sports complex and museum. What happened was literally akin to splitting the baby.
Pricey seats at new Yankee Stadium a
Bronx bomb. The most expensive spots in America's costliest ballpark have become an embarrassment packing a
financial sting to the proud New York Yankees, as the Legends Suite section in the infield has been filled only once in
the six games since the $1.5 billion stadium opened last week. On most days, the seats that cost $500-$2,500 as
part of season tickets and go up to $2,625 for individual games haven't been close to full.
University's Stadium Plea Renews Funding Debate. The
University of Washington's quest to receive public funding for renovation of its Husky Stadium has rekindled
the debate over taxpayer financing of sports facilities. ... The university stresses it's asking for less
money than the Seahawks (football) and Mariners (baseball) did, and that its 50-50 split is a smaller share
of public dollars than for those stadiums. Public money made up about 70 percent of Qwest and Safeco
Fresno's new baseball stadium better not be paid
for with municipal bonds! Dale Rubin, of Salem, Oregon is an attorney who specializes in public
subsidy issues. He recently finished a brief for a public policy group in which his concluions of law
were that municipal subsidies for sports stadiums are unconstitutional. He said 'Almost all state laws
say that no public entity should be aiding private enterprise. In spite of that, billions of dollars of
bonds are flowing to build these sports facilities.'
Citi, AIG Won't Drop Big Sports
Sponsorships. AIG, Citibank and a number of other federally bailed-out financial
institutions have no plans to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in sports team sponsorships,
even as they take billions in taxpayer support, ABC News has found. In boom times, the
sponsorships were seen as a way to advertise the firms' "brands" and appeal to potential customers. ... But
critics, including a member of Congress, say the decision to continue them now is hard to defend.
Special Interests Push for
Sports Stadium Subsidies. With Washington state facing a projected $3.2 billion budget
deficit — the difference between growing revenues and even-faster spending growth — one might
expect lawmakers to focus on how best to use the existing rise in tax revenues to provide the core functions of
government. If special interests get their way, however, taxpayer financing of Seattle-area stadium
renovations will be among the "priorities" competing for tax dollars.
New Indianapolis Stadium May
Already Need Bailout. Taxpayers in Indiana may already be on the hook for a financial bailout of Lucas Oil
Stadium, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League and reputedly the most heavily subsidized
professional sports stadium in the nation. The Capital Improvement Board (CIB), which manages Lucas Oil Stadium,
announced about two years ago the stadium's annual operating costs would be $10 million while yearly revenues would
be only $7.7 million.
The False Promise of Subsidized Tourist
and Entertainment Complexes. In city after troubled city, convention centers, stadiums, arenas,
opera houses, aquariums, museums, casinos, racetracks, and other places of entertainment are presented as
powerful engines of economic development that will pay for themselves in new jobs, paychecks, and taxes.
The mounting evidence suggests, however, that while such projects offer significant benefits to a very narrow
slice of the regional (including suburban) business community, they offer very little to the urban community
Stadium Subsidies Hitting Taxpayers Harder:
Study. [Andrew] Moylan's research shows as the taxpayers' tab increases, so does the total stadium
construction cost. Stadiums that were built with 50 percent or more in taxpayer subsidies were
$65 million more expensive on average than those built with less than 50 percent in subsidies.
The reason? Not surprisingly, Moylan argues, private financiers demand more fiscal accountability with
their own money than government bureaucrats do with other people's tax dollars. Not only is the average
percentage of stadium costs subsidized by taxpayers growing, but total subsidy amounts are rising too.
Sports teams pay millions for talent but ask the public to pay millions for stadiums.
Welfare kings: In October 1995, the city of Seattle opened a
new NBA basketball arena that immediately drew accolades for intimate design elements and dynamic sight lines.
But just a dozen years later, Sonics owner Clay Bennett claims KeyArena is no longer an economically viable NBA
facility and that no amount of renovations could alter that reality. Bennett intends to relocate the team
next year barring some unforeseen final-hour deal to build an entirely new arena with public funds.
Tips on writing a term paper on
stadium subsidies. There was a rash of new sports stadium development that occurred in the
1990s. Most of these stadiums were built partly or wholly with government money in the form of stadium
subsidies. Naturally many social groups were outraged that government money was being diverted from
social programs to millionaire players and billionaire owners. Politicians have argued that stadiums
bring tourism dollars into the city that far outweigh the cost of the stadium subsidy. Many economists
disagree; they feel that most of the revenue stadiums generate comes at the expense of other entertainment
venues within the town.
Stadium Socialism: Jesse
Ventura, Governor of Minnesota, took a position that is extremely rare in state government. He said that
neither the state nor the city nor any other unit of government should spend any money on funding yet another
municipal ballpark or providing a taxpayer subsidy to professional ball teams and their media flunkies.
"The taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for new stadiums," said Ventura. That's a sentiment that
would have been common in America a hundred years ago. Today, after decades of government entitlement
programs for everyone, it now seems revolutionary.
The Billion Dollar Whatever. It's possible that the
Twins site will flourish — it's already in a part of town with plenty of condo-and-loft development,
so it has a leg up on the deadlands of the Vikings site. We were promised lots of development
around the Dome, too, and what did we get? One bar. One. If the planners of the
site came back and saw what their work had produced, they would've been convinced prohibition had
been reintroduced, because there's no possible other explanation for building a gigantic sports arena
that produces exactly ONE bar before the development sputters out and the area sits dead for 20 years.
Government. Last Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors sent its list of wishes to the political
equivalent of Santa Claus: Congress. ... The mayors claim the economy will be stimulated if their
wishes are granted. What do they want? The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has analyzed the
72-page list. ... [The projects include] 15 projects with the term "stadium" in them, including a
$150 million Metromover extension to the Florida Marlins' baseball stadium ... Kristina
Rasmussen, NTU's director of government affairs, offers more analysis of the mayors' report
on NTU's blog: "Total cost of the wish list is $73,163,299,303."
The Odd Couple,
or Here We Go Again. We thought this was properly dealt with back in January by Raiders Chief
Executive Amy Trask, who simply said in essence that the Raiders would be concentrating on the current season
in a stadium they're simply thrilled with, and that they are not actively seeking out the 49ers as
business partners. But like a zombie, this 'joint stadium' idea has come to life once again, walking
the streets by night and claiming more victims, many of them credulous 49er Faithful.
E-mails show NYC
played ball for luxury boxes. When it comes to getting a luxury box at the new Yankees and Mets stadiums,
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aides appear willing to play ball. Recently released internal e-mails between the mayor's
aides, city lawyers and Yankees officials show that City Hall gave the team even more parking spaces than had been
negotiated previously, plus the rights and revenue from three billboards near the stadium in exchange for a suite.
Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language,
1964 International Edition,
Volume One, page 548.
friendship with investor raises questions. Gov. Jon Corzine's recent disclosure that one of his
close personal friends is a partner in the investment group that threw a billion-dollar lifeline to the
troubled Xanadu sports and entertainment complex may have backfired. While Corzine no doubt expected his
disclosure would quell any rumblings of a conflict of interest, critics have raised new questions about the
administration's role in the $2 billion Meadowlands complex, including the role of former economic growth
czar Gary Rose.
Time Out Needed on Stadium Deal.
Similar to the arena deal seven years ago, all three levels of government have been tight-lipped about providing
details of possible government involvement in a new stadium. Both the provincial government and the City
of Winnipeg have refused CTF freedom of information requests for details on using public money for a new stadium.
$1.1 Billion Twins Stadium Tax: The
Minnesota Twins sued to get out of their lease so they can pressure your lawmakers to buy them a stadium.
The new lease presumably would be as worthless as the one they just nullified. Meanwhile, the
disenfranchised citizens — who will not be allowed to vote on it — are stuck paying the tab.
The stadium will cost taxpayers $1.1 billion dollars. The Twins essentially contribute
nothing. Oh sure, they will tell you the Twins are contributing $125 million. But the deal
also gives them naming rights for the stadium, money from concessions, parking — so the
$125 million will be easily recovered.
Seattleites should not have to pay
for another arena boondoggle. Since 1999, Seattle taxpayers have forked over more than
$1 billion in today's dollars to the ultra-rich owners of baseball's Mariners and football's Seahawks.
Despite threats to move the teams, folks are a little hesitant to cough up several hundred million more for a
new basketball arena for the Seattle SuperSonics and Storm.
Randolph Calls For End to
Taxpayer-Funded Luxury Suites at Local Stadiums. In the wake of the recent public news that the
Lucas Oil Stadium could run the taxpayers an extra $10 million in operational costs, City-County
Councillor Ike Randolph today, filed a freedom of information request with the City of Indianapolis.
The request seeks all documents and expenditures on city-owned suites at the RCA Dome, Conseco Field House
and Victory Field between 2000 and 2006.
DC taxpayers are being thrown
an expensive curveball. DC City Council members who will vote Tuesday [11/13/2007] on whether to
approve the Mayor's plan for a publicly-subsidized baseball stadium in Anacostia should remember this year's
earlier "commuter tax" court controversy. According to a new study from the non-partisan National
Taxpayers Union Foundation, the stadium proposal would worsen taxes in DC to fund a project that will mostly
serve residents of Maryland and Virginia (80 percent of the team's fans are expected to come from those
Storm clouds in the outfield.
The city of Anaheim, thanks to the foolishness of then-Mayor Tom Daly and then-council members Lou Lopez and
Frank Feldhaus, gave then-owner Disney $30 million in benefits in 1996 to keep the team in Anaheim.
Residents got little in return, but the one thing they did get was the supposed pride of having the city's
name in the national spotlight. It looks like a sucker's deal in hindsight.
Sports owners fund McCain, shun Obama.
Sports team owners may not be John McCain's answer to the Hollywood elite, but they're overwhelmingly supporting
his presidential campaign over Barack Obama's. Through the end of June, team owners in the four major sports
and their families have given to or raised as much or more than $3.2 million for McCain, the presumptive
Republican nominee, compared with as much as $615,000 for his Democratic rival Obama, according to a Politico
analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission, the campaigns and interviews.
If You Build It, They Will Leave. On
the same day the Florida Marlins paraded through Miami to celebrate their second World Series championship in
six years, politicians from Miami-Dade County swallowed the young baseball team's corporate welfare bait.
County Mayor Alex Penelas and Manager George Burgess announced they were offering a whopping $73 million
in bed tax revenue, plus a parcel of free land, to help build a new $325 million baseball-only
retractable-roof stadium that the lucrative franchise desperately wants.
starting to take a stand against stadium funding. In Sarasota, Fla., a $16 million bond
referendum was on the ballot to help fund a $45 million reconstruction of a stadium currently used by the
Cincinnati Reds for spring training. Another $7.9 million was to be spent to add land for practice
fields and its related construction costs. The total of some $52.9 million was to be funded by the
county, state and city, with the Reds contributing $10 million.
Stadium is fielding money —
from us. I wasn't overly alarmed when a Deseret Morning News headline announced last week that
the funding of Dave's Big Soccer Stadium will cost much more than we were originally told.
When it came
time to finalize the funding details for the soccer stadium last week, someone finally got around to mentioning
that it will cost more than the $45 million as advertised — it will cost another $28 mil
in interest, bringing the price tag to, ka-ching!, $73 million.
Private Benefits of Public
Stadium Financing: Public subsidies of professional sports stadiums provide no tangible public
good, a fact being recognized by more cities around the country, says an economist who's studied the issue.
"You see a lot more resistance (to taxpayer-funded stadiums) than you did in the past. I think people are
seeing the evidence that the benefit isn't there," said Phillip Miller, an economist at Minnesota State
Baseline Welfare Cases: Stadiums, Subsidies, and the
Dole. Major League Baseball has become a regular recipient of corporate welfare. In
particular, taxpayer subsidies to fund ballparks — which once were the rarest of
exceptions — have become the norm. Unfortunately, over the years, some businesses and their
representatives — in particular, many state and local business groups — have been
regular supporters of subsidized stadiums. It is often the case, in fact, that the business leaders in a
community become the loudest cheerleaders for tax giveaways to baseball teams.
Leaky Stadiums — Milwaukee's
Stadium Experience. The typical argument used to sell a stadium construction contract to the
tax-paying public is that it improves the local economy. Money will be generated, and the taxes on the
new revenue will in theory offset the taxes used to subsidize the new stadium. The problem with this
stream of thought is the first step. How is that money generated? Most people have entertainment
budgets, and the $100 they spend taking the family to the ballgame is $100 that they don't spend on movies or
bowling later on in the month.
Sports economists agree that cities — and taxpayers — get close to nothing from spending
public money on sports teams. What they haven't figured out is why we're still doing it.
Stadium Subsidies Scalp The Public.
Ever since the Boston Tea Party, public debate over whether to pay taxes and how to spend those dollars has been
a vibrant part of our democratic process in Massachusetts and across the nation. The debate over taxpayer
subsidies for the stadium that is proposed to replace the venerable Fenway Park is shaping up to be an epic battle
pitting the public interest and the public well-being against the well-financed powers that be.
Sports Stadium Madness: Why It Started, How
to Stop It. Nationally, subsidies to professional sports facilities cost taxpayers some
$500 million a year. More than $7 billion will be spent on new facilities by the year 2006,
with most of it coming from public sources. Communities that are hard-pressed to keep their schools open
or police on the beat are nevertheless entering into agreements to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to
bid away a professional sports team from another city.
Put pro sports blackmailers out
of business. Taxpayer subsidies for new sports stadiums have been responsible for some of the
biggest expansions of government during the 1990s. Cities have used public money to engage in unseemly
bidding wars, with pro teams playing government against government in quest of an ever-more-lucrative stadium
deal. As the bidding has risen, even teams with stadiums as young as 15 to 20 years old (like
the domes used by the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Seahawks) are demanding new playpens costing upwards of
Stadium Subsidies Strike Out. Do public
subsidies for stadiums make sense? Many studies suggest the answer to that question is an emphatic NO.
Economist Robert Baade of the Heartland Institute, an Illinois think tank, analyzed the effects of professional
sports teams and stadiums on economic development in thirty-six metropolitan areas. The results, he found,
overwhelmingly indicated that professional sports is not statistically significant in determining economic
The Stadium Gambit and Local Economic
Development. The evidence suggests that attracting a professional sports franchise to a city and
building that franchise a new stadium or arena will have no effect on the growth rate of real per capita income
and may reduce the level of real per capita income in that city.
Sports Pork: The Costly Relationship between
Major League Sports and Government. The lone beneficiaries of sports subsidies are team owners
Indeed, the results of studies on changes in the economy resulting from the presence of
stadiums, arenas, and sports teams show no positive economic impact from professional sports — or a
possible negative effect.
Caught Stealing: Debunking the Economic Case
for D.C. Baseball. District of Columbia mayor Anthony Williams has convinced Major League Baseball
to move the Montreal Expos to D.C. in exchange for the city's building a new ballpark.
A baseball team in
D.C. might produce intangible benefits. Rooting for the team might provide satisfaction to many local
baseball fans. That is hardly a reason for the city government to subsidize the team. D.C. policymakers
should not be mesmerized by faulty impact studies that claim that a baseball team and a new stadium can
be an engine of economic growth.
Mets, Yanks stadium
subsidies top $1.25 billion. Field of Schemes has obtained new figures from the New York
City Independent Budget Office (I'm sure they'll give them to anyone, but I asked) on the cost to taxpayers of
publicly subsidized tax-exempt bonds for the new Yankees and Mets stadiums. The verdict: The
$930 million in Yankees stadium bonds will cost the city $10 million in lost tax revenue, the state
$18 million, and federal taxpayers a whopping $200 million; for the Mets' $528 million in
tax-exempt bonds, the figures are $6 million city, $10 million state, and $115 federal.
Speaking of the Yankees...
Gets Steal Of A Deal Thanks To NYC Tax Loophole. They were crying foul Friday [2/25/2011]
about a sweetheart tax loophole that will enable Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to live in his new $6 million
luxury West Side penthouse and pay virtually no real estate taxes. The cost of a 28th row ticket for
the Yankees 2011 home opener is $1,211. The cost of an A-Rod autographed bat is $700.
Say It Ain't So: Stadium Subsidies in
Nevada. Research has shown that the economic benefits of subsidized stadiums are monumentally
overstated. For years, analysts have searched in vain for proof that the pro-subsidy hype peddled by
stadium supporters squares with reality. In fact, on this issue the level of agreement between
free-market, conservative and left-liberal economists and policy analysts is startling.
48% Oppose Cotton Bowl Project. Almost half of Dallas residents say the city should pull the plug on a
planned $50 million face-lift for the Cotton Bowl, according to a Dallas Morning News poll. Even
though the City Council strongly supports the renovation, 48 percent of those polled last week said the
investment doesn't make sense now that the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the January collegiate bowl game, has
announced that it's leaving in 2010.
$1.1 Billion Minnesota Twins Stadium
Tax. The Minnesota Twins have sued to get out of their lease so they can pressure
your lawmakers to buy them a stadium. The new lease presumably would be as worthless as
the one they just nullified. Meanwhile, the disenfranchised citizens — who will not be
allowed to vote on it — are stuck paying the tab.
Ballpark bill in scoring position.
The Minnesota Twins scored a major victory late Thursday [4/20/2006] when the [Minnesota] House Taxes Committee
said a sales tax could be used to help build a $522 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis
without requiring a referendum.
Minnesota Twins Win Stadium Subsidy
Deal. Years of concerted effort by the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team paid off on
May 26, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed a stadium subsidy bill before the start of the Twins game
against the Seattle Mariners. It was a good night for the Twins, as they won hundreds of millions
of tax dollars for a new stadium and then defeated the Mariners 3-1. But many analysts believe it
was a bad night for Minnesota taxpayers.
Penguins souring on Plan B. Gov.
Ed Rendell yesterday [1/19/2007] said the arena deal being offered the Penguins is better than others struck
recently in the National Hockey League, but the team has balked at a proposal to share development rights and
parking revenues with Pittsburgh casino backer Don Barden.
Florida Turns Down Subsidy for Marlins
Stadium. Although Florida lawmakers declined to provide financial assistance to the Florida
Marlins Major League Baseball franchise, a proposed move of the team to San Antonio, Texas has been killed.
[So! All that talk about leaving town was just an empty threat. Imagine that.]
Stadiums and the Effects on the Economy. Before the depression, stadiums such as Wrigley
Field, Tiger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park were being built by using private funds. In
the 1980's America was spending about $1.5 billion on new stadiums; in the 1990's it spent
$11 billion. Furthermore, in 1967 the cost to build the Kingdome was $67 million,
in 1999 the cost to build Safeco Field was $517.6 million.
Election Fraud Investigation in San Francisco. An
investigation into allegations of organized fraud in the June 1997 stadium bond election in San Francisco.
The team that mistook its
stadium for a hat. Whenever a new major league baseball stadium opens, it's hailed as
an emblem of progress, a palace of sport, an engineering wonder, a centerpiece of the community,
and an immense improvement over its predecessor. In recent years, it has also become mandatory
to apply such overworked expressions as "state of the art," "intimate," and "old-fashioned ballpark
with all the modern conveniences." Historically, even underachievers such as San Francisco's
wind-cursed Candlestick Park and the multi-sport concrete ashtrays of the '70s have drawn opening-day
accolades — and, of course, so have the good ones.
Public Funding of
Stadiums: A very large collection of articles on this subject at No Land Grab dot org.
The name of the
game is money — tax money used to build sporting arenas. As players' salaries and ticket
prices spiral astronomically upward, it is the taxpaying public that is being stuck with the bill for
new stadiums. If there has been one constant in professional sports over the past 20 to 25 years,
it is that owners and players are becoming increasingly wealthy at the expense of fans, non-fans, and
taxpayers. In 1976, the average salary of major league baseball players was $51,000. That
jumped to $412,000 by 1987 and is well over $1,000,000 today.
Field of Schemes dot com is the companion
website to Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private
Profit, by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Since 1998, we have been casting a critical eye on the
roughly $2 billion a year in public subsidies that go toward building new pro sports facilities.
Top 10 Dumbest Reasons to Build a New
Sports Stadiums Becoming Major Corporate
Welfare. "We are just pointing out two important facts," [Roger] Noll says. "Stadiums
are not a net local economic benefit, and the reasons cities are paying for them is because the (federal)
government made the professional leagues monopolies" — exempt from anti-trust laws
that apply to most other industries.
Take pro sports off the government
payroll. Call it "public funding" if you like, but the fact remains: There
is no such thing as public money. The government has no money, except what it takes from
the taxpayers. What the D.C. Council's agreement means is this: If I decide to
go to any games at the new stadium, which is to be completed in 2008, I will be paying
for a ticket to a game, at which I will buy drinks and hot dogs, and the entire spectacle will take
place in a facility that I helped pay for.
Boondoggle. Beginning in the early 1990s, an unprecedented stadium
construction boom has swept the world of professional sports. Since the opening
of New Comiskey Park in Chicago in April of 1991 a total of 28 new stadiums have
been built or are under construction to house professional football and baseball
franchises in the United States.
socialism: If the wealthy owners of sports teams want new stadiums, let them build
them with their own money. They're not entitled to our money. Just as cities take
people's homes so rich corporations can do what the politicians call "urban renewal," telling
the courts economic development is a "public use," sports tycoons argue their stadiums are in
the "public interest." Their politician friends tell voters that a stadium will "bring
jobs," be "good for the city," "pay for itself." Bunk. Study after study finds
stadiums cost far more than they return.
Bowl games and
traditions. It irks me that the Peach Bowl is now the Chick-fil-A Bowl. It vexes me to
hear the mandated phrase "Invesco Field at Mile High." I grieve the loss of the old and honored
place-names of sports: Candlestick Park, Three Rivers Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium. … That corporate
names, attached to stadiums by means of vast expenditures, can make no claims to the people's veneration,
as opposed to their fleeting fancy, is no mere controversial assertion on my part — it is an admitted
feature of the principle of the system.
Capital Spenders: Why are $100,000 of our tax dollars going to the Tiger Woods
Foundation? This multi-millionaire can afford to support his own foundation. Why
must taxpayers continue to contribute to various sports halls of fame, including $75,000 for
the one in Syracuse, N.Y.? … Why is the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.,
getting $450,000 for "educational outreach"?
benefit? I'm fine with the idea of the Cowboys playing in Arlington,
but I wish owner Jerry Jones would write the check for it and leave Arlington taxpayers
alone. He'll get their money eventually, along with ticket, parking, food and
souvenir revenue from everyone else who comes to see the Cowboys of 2009 and beyond.
Dallas Cowboys' Shining
Star. The stadium will cost $1 billion by the time it's finished.
Stadium project is burning through $1 million
each day. The new Cowboys stadium is about 40 percent complete, and crews are spending nearly
$1 million a day to build the team's new home, construction manager Jack Hill said.
Cowboys stadium costs tower over others. Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck said since [Jerry] Jones is
paying for most of the stadium, taxpayers shouldn't have a problem. "Does it bother me?" he said. "No,
it does not. He is making a huge investment in Arlington." Jones' investment is about $725 million.
The city of Arlington's investment is about $475 million. For that kind of money, Arlington could have
built its own stadium like the Reliant Stadium in Houston, which is where the Houston Texans play. ... The big
difference is that the 50 yard line seats that are 20 rows up at the new Cowboys stadium will cost
you $150,000 for a personal seat license and $340 for a ticket.
The Art of the NFL.
[Scroll down] The new Cowboys Stadium provides a good example. The field, the television screen, the
party zone, the presumptive lines at the parking lot — the good taxpayers of Arlington, Texas have
built Jerry Jones his Taj Mahal. He didn't forget the harem. Ensconced within the stands are
platforms accommodating clusters of pole-dancers, a kind of J.V. Cowboys Cheerleaders squad.
City ordered to disclose secret arena
proposal. The city of Sacramento was ordered Thursday [10/26/2006] to turn over a copy of a
negotiating proposal sent to the owners of the Sacramento Kings as part of their discussions for a new
arena in the downtown railyard.
County Claims Bengals Cheated
Taxpayers. Hamilton County commissioners claim the team for which they built a
stadium and the league that oversees the team cheated them out of $600 million. One
of the most controversial pieces of evidence is the Bengals' win-loss record: The team said
it needed more money to be more competitive, but the Bengals still stink.
Jones' Subsidy Could Reach
$1.2 Billion. The stadium deal for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys is
weighted heavily on the side of the team. The Cowboys emphasized during the tax initiative
campaign that they were putting up half the money for the stadium —
$325 million — but that isn't quite true. While the city will
use the new taxes to retire its side of the debt, Jones will be able to slap his own
10 percent "tax" on tickets and a $3 tax on parking to retire his side. That
will raise about $10 million a year, or $300 million over 30 years.
Me Out of the Ballgame. Generally in these agreements the city will pay part of the
costs and the team pays the rest. In this case, Arlington increased property, car rental and
hotel taxes to pay for the city's share. But according to a story in the Dallas Morning News,
it also wants to levy a 10 percent tax on tickets and a $3 parking tax. The twist here is
that those user taxes will be applied toward the Cowboy's portion of the bill.
An End to Sports Welfare? When
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asked Arlington, Texas voters to pay for a new stadium last November, he
did not call the classic plays from the sports welfare playbook. He could not say America's Team
needed a state-of-the-art facility to compete, since Texas Stadium (in the Dallas-adjacent suburb of
Irving) has more luxury suites than any other stadium in the National Football League (NFL) and the
Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s. He could not say he was financially strapped, since
his franchise ranks sixth in the NFL in profits and second in revenue, according to Forbes magazine.
Baseball stadium is
striking out in the nation's capital. The District of Columbia "won" a bidding
war for the Montreal Expos by promising to construct a $440 million stadium, one of the
most expensive ever. But total projected costs already have ballooned
to $530 million. And author Charles C. Euchner warns: "Count
on that cost ballooning past $600 million or more. Public works projects
invariably run over budget by at least 25 percent."
disgrace. Today we hardly bat an eye when a large enterprise like a sports
stadium is started not by business people, but by politicians. Or when one of the
poorest-run cities in the nation distracts itself from improving its badly provided essential
services to engage in what has become a rich-man's luxury. Or when we see captains of
industry reduced from creators of wealth to welfare addicts. … In the end, the argument is
that this kind of subsidy creates jobs and profits and thus "pays for itself." Of course,
it doesn't. The so-called economics used to justify these subsidies to major league sports
are worth less than the literary value of infield chatter. A simple truth remains: When
it is economical to invest in a stadium, private enterprise will do so. When it is not,
then it shouldn't be done.
I'd ride the subway, but I haven't enough change.
Baseball vs. D.C.: The
Lerners have already benefited from D.C. taxpayers, who were forced to foot the $611 million bill to
build the stadium for Theodore Lerner, his family and his $450 million baseball team. Fan support
has been averaging 29,000 tickets per game, while the team is a last-place-in-the-league joke in almost
Stop the Squeeze
Play. As Major League Baseball announced it was bringing in a mediator to pinch-hit for a
baseball stadium lease settlement that could heavily burden taxpayers, a letter to [Washington DC] City Council
Members today [1/19/2006] from five citizen groups pitching from the right and left of the political spectrum
contended that the costly bidding game should be called on account of fiscal recklessness.
Stadium parking garage to be above
ground. Officials in charge of building the Washington Nationals' new ballpark in Southeast
are negotiating a deal with Western Development to build two parking garages above ground at the stadium
site and wrap them with condominiums and retail.
Fresno Stadium. Partisan forecasts made by some local economists have grossly
overestimated the economic benefits and understated the economic costs of the Diamond Group's
proposed publicly funded minor league baseball team stadium.
Is There An
Economic Rationale for Sports Stadium Subsidies? Controversy shadows sports
in the United States. Sports are so deeply woven into the fabric of our culture that
disputations about them are inevitable. Sports are leisure; sports are business; sports
are religion. The multiple personalities of sports are nowhere more visible than in the
many municipal stadium debates taking place throughout the country. City leaders from
Miami to San Francisco have summoned sound economic management as their star witness in defending
plans to subsidize the renovation or construction of stadiums.
stadiums are not worth price of admission. Games and circuses once were provided
by government. How better to satiate the desire of the Roman masses than to entertain
them in the Arena? Today, governments build stadiums to attract sports franchises for
the same purpose. But the American masses seem to be tiring of transferring billions
of dollars to billionaire team owners.
Corporate welfare, Dallas-style:
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims to have lost 55 pounds through renouncing cheeseburgers and
beer. Now it's time for a real diet. Imagine how much Jerry could contribute to the public weal
through renouncing the public money he wants for a new football stadium.
Watchdog cries foul on
ballpark. A government watchdog group plans to ask the D.C. Office of Campaign
Finance to investigate whether the use of city employees to solicit letters of support for the
mayor's $440 million baseball stadium-financing plan constitutes an ethics violation.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums. Do sports stadiums
really revitalize a community, bringing revenue, jobs, and status as a "major league" city? Since the
mid-1980s, nearly ten billion dollars of public money have financed new playing fields in the US, so they must
be worth the investment, right?
Chicago Stadiums Fail to Deliver Promised
Benefits. Chicago has two taxpayer-subsidized sports stadiums, neither of which appears to be
living up to the promises made by supporters of taxpayer funding. U.S. Cellular Field, home of the
Chicago White Sox, is supposed to pay rent to the state after attendance hits a certain figure, but in recent
years attendance has been below the target, effectively giving the White Sox a rent-free stadium.
Experts Agree: Public
Support for Stadiums Is Madness. Although research proves sports stadiums
drain public resources, are of minimal or no economic benefit, and enrich primarily the
owners of sport teams, St. Louis and Missouri might succumb and dole out many millions
for decades to come.
"Publicly funded sports stadiums are like crack cocaine to local politicians and business bigwigs. These
folks are just like addicts: They deceive everyone around them for the sake of a fix and rarely take no
for an answer when voters decline to subsidize their schemes."
— Michael W. Lynch,
Reason Magazine *
Egregious Earmark of the Week: $100,000 to
Fix Orange Show Stadium. Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) has spotted this week's egregious earmark
buried in the Transportation-Treasury-HUD appropriations bill (H.R. 3058) for fiscal year 2006. The
noteworthy pork project comes to the grand total of $100,000 allotted to the city of San Bernardino, Calif.,
for making renovations to the National Orange Show Stadium.
for Corporate Welfare: During the twentieth century, more than $14 billion in
government subsidies went to the four major professional sports — Major League
Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey
League. While cities build fields of dreams for teams, hoping they will come, it isn't clear
there are economic gains. Three experts on the economics of tax-funded stadiums examined the
need for subsidies of sports teams and the economic impact of sports on local economies.
Sports Stadiums: No
Pot of Gold for Cities. Sports stadiums may have psychological and even
political benefits, but they are falsely sold as an economic development tool. Cities
and boosters ought to rely on private capital for funding these structures.
Tax-Exempt Bonds and the Economics of
Professional Sports Stadiums. An economist for the Congressional Research Service concludes
that federal, state, and local taxpayers don't benefit economically from subsidizing professional sports
Public Financing of Sports Stadiums: How
Cincinnati Compares. Hamilton County, Ohio, asks taxpayers to approve a sales tax increase to
raise funds to subsidize new sports stadiums for the Reds and Bengals. Ultimately, taxpayers must
determine for themselves whether an investment in sports will make life better.
Can Be Privately Financed. This report concludes Ohio is out of step
with other states and cities, which have moved away from public financing, and toward private
financing, of sports stadiums.
Professional Sports, and Economic Development: Assessing the Reality. About
one century ago, professional sports became prominent in American public life. During
its early years, the business of sports was primarily a private undertaking, financed with
private money and played in private stadiums and arenas. But state and local government
subsidies to professional sports businesses have proliferated over the past few decades,
and economic arguments have been crafted to justify the subsidies. … Public funds are increasingly
scarce. We must test the argument that professional sports offer an important return on government
subsidies. The purpose of this paper is to use economic theory and empirical techniques to assess
the contribution of professional sports to metropolitan area economic development in the United
Stands against Taxpayer-Funded Stadium — For a While. Major
League Baseball was thrown a curveball on December 15  as District of Columbia
Councilwoman Linda Cropp (D) tried to help local taxpayers by changing the
financing rules for a proposed new stadium.
A New Baseball
Statistic for Opening Day: Government subsidies for professional sports
stadiums are not only economically unsound, they are unfair to sports fans and non-fans alike.
Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? And Where are the Stadiums You Played In? The
modern stadium barely tips its hat to its ancestors anymore, rather it prefers to
dance on their graves. How unfortunate to think that one of the establishments that
helped to bring America together and forge our nation as one has evolved into nothing
more than a greedy child constantly asking for money.
No Jones Tax! It is not the
job of taxpayers to build facilities for private business entities. The mission
of No Jones Tax campaign is to prevent taxpayers from paying higher taxes, new taxes, or
for new give-away schemes to build a new stadium for Jerry Jones. Jerry Jones
can build his own stadium without our tax dollars.
We Wuz Robbed! The Subsidized Stadium
Scam. While the actual sport of baseball is an excellent metaphor for the free market
(illustrating how individuals and teams work together and compete against one another), at the professional
level nearly all the teams play in government-owned or government-subsidized ballparks.
Here's a Deal We Can Afford to Refuse: From
Cleveland to Baltimore to Chicago, cities nationwide have repeatedly been suckered by team owners who claim they
can't operate profitably without state-of-the-art, taxpayer-funded facilities offering luxury boxes and other
high-dollar seating arrangements.
It's "play ball"… with taxpayer
money. Down the road, maybe these saps — AKA taxpayers — may balk at paying
for stadiums, luxury skyboxes, parking concessions, tax abatements, and various other schemes that funnel
taxpayer money to billionaire owners.
Interest is Usually Special Interest: Special interest groups have been quick to tap the public
till. Of course, they usually aren't so blunt as to demand tax money for their personal benefit.
They have found a more effective strategy: obtain government subsidies for their pet project by arguing
that it will benefit everyone in the community. Their project, in fact, is something we all "need."
It's amazing what a person will "need" when someone else is picking up the tab.
sports stadium scam: What is seen and what is not seen. Taxpayer
subsidization of professional sports facilities is almost always a losing bet,
economically speaking. The economic impact studies employed by politicians,
the news media, and pro sports owners to support government-financed facilities
are beset by methodological problems and don't count all the relevant costs.
Promises 1: Three Rivers Stadium [Part 1]. Pittsburgh's
Three Rivers Stadium is deemed "economically obsolete for baseball" by boosters
of the Forbes Field II project, yet privately owned Busch Stadium in
St. Louis, similar in age and design, has generated profits
every year since its opening.
Promises [Part 2]
Stadium subsidies are
being offered by local governments but they offer few or no benefits to residents.
Should Congress Stop the Bidding War for Sports
Franchises? On November 29, 1995, the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business Rights, and Competition
of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held hearings on sports franchise relocation. That testimony is
Government Stadium Subsidies
Would "Pick Pockets of Taxpayers to Line Pockets of Teams". According to
a study by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF),
the $200-$360 million in stadium subsidies being offered by local
governments would offer few or no benefits to residents.
Stadium Stampede Could Trample Taxpayers for $15 Billion. Between
1990 and 2000, the average Major League Baseball salary rose 243 percent, and
the average National Football League salary increased 143 percent. Tax subsidies
help team owners to offset or even inflate these expenses while maintaining their
Stadium Socialism: Research
shows that taxpayer-financed sports facilities aren't economically justified, according to
economists. A national poll conducted by Media Research and Communications found that
80 percent of Americans oppose using their tax dollars for sports
stadiums and areas. But city and state politicians keep building them.
baseball tax fetish: Economist Raymond J. Keating of the Washington,
D.C.-based Small Business Survival Committee estimates the total costs of building
big league ballparks at $11.5 billion, with taxpayers picking up about 81 percent
of the tab, or $9.3 billion.
Baseball in the Nation's
Capital: Games with Tax Dollars. Sports teams have grown accustomed
to receiving a healthy dose of public money for nearly any stadium project.
Game Plan: Cincinnati
voters approved a sales-tax increase in 1996 that would pay for about 90 percent of
the $450 million Paul Brown Field. PSINet Stadium, home of the Super Bowl
champion Baltimore Ravens, was built almost entirely with public money. Revenue
bonds and sports lottery money accounted for $200 million of the $223 million
price tag. The Jacksonville Jaguars invested only $10.5 million in
the $135 million reconstruction of Alltel Stadium in 1995.
Bread, Kansas City's Circus: The IRS has recently ruled that an
elaborate plan devised by the lawyers of the former owner of the Kansas City Royals to
keep the baseball team in town served a charitable purpose on the ground that
it will lessen the burdens of government.
Everyone Wants A Taxpayer-Funded Stadium, Except
Taxpayers. It's good to be the owner of a sports franchise. Not only do you rake in
millions from inflated ticket prices and exorbitantly marked-up concessions, but you can convince the state
into chipping in money to build or maintain your stadium.
Squeeze Play: Do Baseball Stadiums Need Our Bucks
to Get Built? For taxpayers, the first game of the season is also a pretty good time to ponder
ever-larger government handouts to millionaire team owners and players.
Should We Pay For Sports Arenas? Do
cities really benefit from having a professional team? I am not sure that they do.
State-subsidized Slush: While the
jury is still out on the economic costs and benefits of new municipally supported stadia, the benefit to the
fans is, shall we say, minimal? How about almost non-existent.
Subsidized Ballparks Price Fans Away.
New evidence indicates that sports fans who vote to subsidize sports arenas with their taxpayer dollars quite
possibly could be denied entry at the gate.
Sports on the Dole: Government officials would better focus their attention
on creating a healthy economic environment for their respective cities and states by lowering
taxes, reducing regulatory burdens, and paring down the size of government.
Shouldn't Subsidize Pro Sport. In 1994, the Edmonton Oilers persuaded
Edmonton's councillors to institute a ticket tax to help the team pay its $2.8 million
annual rent, and then managed to have the rent scrapped entirely last year, while still
retaining ticket tax proceeds. Talk about eating and having your proverbial cake.
Sports Stadium Madness… Still Ripping Off
Taxpayers. Future historians will look back on the 1980s and 1990s with amazement.
Communities hard-pressed to keep their schools open or police on the beat nevertheless spent billions of
dollars on stadiums and arenas for use by professional sports teams. Mediocre athletes were paid more in
a single season than the average taxpayer earned in a lifetime. Tickets were priced so high that the
average taxpayer, whose earnings were taxed to build these facilities, could not afford to walk through the
Minnesota Twins beat taxpayers in
extra innings. Score: Twins: $330 million, Taxpayers: big losers. "This bill
isn't a deal. It isn't even the outline of a deal. It is simply the first step in which the
legislature has acknowledged the principle that taxpayers should be on the hook for financing new stadiums for
professional sports teams," said David Strom, Legislative Director of the Taxpayers league of Minnesota.
How Taxpayers Prop Up Sport Mogul's
Profits: Sports teams and their facilities have little measurable impact on the economic vitality
of a community. As pro team owners hunker down to protect their interests, it is the hapless taxpayer who
will get stuck holding the bag for non-performing assets, not to mention the collateral damage from
non-performing schools. This is the choice many communities now face, and hopefully more will
choose wisely in the future than have done so in the past.
Me Out of the Ball Game: Construction of the
new Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati will cost local taxpayers at least
400 million dollars. Despite this enormous public investment, there is no
guarantee that the Cincinnati Bengals will continue to do anything but lose. Actually,
the only thing the Bengals have promised not to do now is - leave. Try to contain your
excitement. Stadium deals financed with public dollars are one of the most egregious
forms of corporate welfare at the municipal level. Yet, there is no real outcry
because professional sports organizations have done a masterful job of promoting
a myth. The myth is that professional sports franchises and their stadiums are
good for local economies. Unfortunately, there is no real evidence to support this.
Funding of Stadiums: Governments Must Simply Say No: Using public moneys to help fund the construction of new, or the
renovation of existing, stadiums is bad public policy. Teams owners often want new stadiums in part (at
least) to realize greater profits and increase the values of their teams. New stadiums can create from
$10 million to $40 million in additional annual income for an owner. Even if the extra revenue
is used solely for players' salaries, the owner still benefits, because the value of the team increases:
Baseball teams that had the highest venue revenue in 1996 tended to be the teams with the greatest franchise
value. Hence, public money invested in stadiums ends up eventually benefitting team owners and players.
Wasting Taxes On Sports
Is A Favorite U.S. Pastime: Americans spend billions in tax dollars to subsidize professional
sports. The government lies, saying stadiums will pay for themselves. It never happens.
Meanwhile, many fear a tax cut will short-change government, mistakenly believing it is the source of all
good. We have lost the awareness that we control our own destiny, instead relying on government.
Rowdy fans and athletes:
NFL fans 'cause earthquake'
during game in Seattle. So loud were the fans during their side's 34-7 victory that they measured between a magnitude 1 and 2
earthquake. Fans of the Seahawks are growing a reputation for their ear popping shows of support. In 2011, the fans were picked up by a
nearby seismic recording station while earlier this year, CenturyLink Field entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the noise created.
This isn't going to help:
Jacksonville Jaguars Offer Fans Free Beer
To Buy Tickets. The winless Jacksonville Jaguars have released their own strategy to increase ticket attendance to this week's game and
prevent a blackout: free beer.
You step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.
Seattle cops to don
opponents' jerseys. The Seahawks announced Wednesday that undercover law-enforcement officers will wear opposing team jerseys at
games this season in an effort to quickly detect fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior.
fans celebrate Super Bowl win by car tipping and looting a Baltimore 7-11. But AP told us there were no reports of
"disturbances" after the Ravens' Super Bowl win. Once again, Twitter has the news first.
in riot gear stop brawl among parents at kids' football game. Police in riot gear flooded the field of a youth
football game in Southern California to stop a brawl that involved dozens and possibly hundreds of adult spectators.
Rowdy NFL fans will be required to see the shrink.
The NFL is shrink-rapping football fans. Unruly fans booted from stadiums this year will be required to pass a code-of-conduct exam — or
they won't be allowed back in for another game.
Saints fan shoots two 49ers fans after loss. An angry New Orleans Saints fan shot two San Francisco
49ers fans in a restaurant parking lot Saturday evening [1/14/2012] shortly after his team lost the NFL divisional
playoff game, police said. Donald Ray Ayro, 31, reportedly became upset with two 49ers fans while watching
the game at an Applebee's restaurant.
High School Basketball Player Attacks
Ref. A video of what not to do when you don't like a ref's call has been circulating the Internet.
In a game between Florida high school teams Arcadia DeSoto and Port Charlotte, DeSoto's Mason Holland shoved a
Port Charlotte player, and then, after a technical foul was called on him, went ballistic and threw the
referee to the floor.
"USA, USA" at a college football game termed anti Muslim. So chanting USA, USA at a football
game is now anti Muslim? According to a University of Illinois professor, the answer is yes.
about The Religion of the Easily Offended.
The High Cost
of Favoritism. Those who star in sports that are big in educational institutions —
football and basketball being classic examples — can start having the rules bent in their favor as
early as high school. Everyone wants a winning team and bending a few rules for those who can make that
happen may seem like a small price to pay. At colleges and universities where football or basketball are
big time, ensuring passing grades for players on those teams is a major priority.
Sports on Notice: The statistics regarding violence at school and other amateur sporting
events have been cited regularly in the media — yet violence at those events continues
unabated. … It is time for every parent, if not every prospective spectator of an organized
athletic event, to consider the wisdom of attending contests that have become as much about the
egos of the fans as about the players.
Last Resort for Losers. Nowhere in the rule book of any sport is criminal
violence authorized. Even in those sports events where physical force is part of the
competition, causing injury to an opponent may be incidental to the goal of the competition
but it is not the goal itself. Even in boxing, a sport about which there is debate over
the whether it has crossed the line to violence for violence sake, there are rules which
must be observed.
Keep me out of the
ballgame. Today, taking your son or daughter to a major sports event might require a helmet and
earplugs. Too many players aspire to create gangsta images and cover themselves with tattoos, record nasty
rap albums in their spare time, and push and kick a cameraman or two just to maintain that bad-boy image.
gang signs, NFL reviews tapes. The league, concerned that some players might be celebrating by
using the hand signals of street gangs, has hired experts to study game tapes.
Amoral media, lowlife fans,
spoiled athletes and beer. Let's finally stop repeating the false notion that big business has
conservative values. Big business has no values. … Liberals perpetuate the falsehood of big business
as conservative for three reasons: They have a materialist view of the world (just about everything is
explainable by economic status and motives; it aids in getting people to vote Democrat); many people resent the
amorality of big companies; and it seems to counter the argument that the major news media are
liberal — "How could the news media possibly be liberal when they are all owned by
Obviously, Sports Do Not Build Character.
If you are one of those people who believe the old adage "sports builds character," you have some explaining to
do. Why are so many professional athletes, who have spent their entire lives in organized sports, masters
at cheating, serial adultery, drunkenness, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, and thuggish fighting (to name just
a few of the vices)?
By character I mean moral excellence: a life characterized by prudence, fortitude,
self-discipline, and humility in pursuit of what is good.
disguised as hockey fans. Montreal was the lead story on morning TV news on both sides of the
Canada-U.S. border yesterday, but the Canadiens' Game 7 victory over the Boston Bruins was merely a
footnote. The big story was the violence and vandalism that grew out of the celebrations after the
Canadiens' win. I'm not sure what Monday night's carnage means, but there's an argument to be made that
our society is headed in the wrong direction.
woman charged with murder after Sox-related argument. A Nashua, New Hampshire woman is being held without bail
after prosecutors say she ran down a man outside a bar — after a argument witnesses say was about the Red Sox and Yankees.
announces new fan code of conduct. The NFL implemented a new code of fan conduct Tuesday [8/5/2008],
warning that spectators who misbehave will be ejected from stadiums and barred from coming back. The
policy, first recommended by commissioner Roger Goodell at league meetings in April, is aimed at conduct
that the league said "detracts from the gameday experience."
Booing at games may be banned.
The organization that oversees high school sports in Washington is considering rules for fans that could ban
booing and offensive chants. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has not made an
official ruling, but has discussed guidelines to crack down on negative conduct, a spokesman said. Some
of the state's top coaches believe a boo ban is extreme.
The Editor says...
This is political correctness carried to its extreme in the land of the easily offended. Are
spectators expected to cheer for both teams? I think the courts would rule that booing, however offensive,
is constitutionally-protected free speech.
Want to Host the 2022 Olympics. Add Krakow to the growing list of cities who do not
want to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Polish city withdrew its bid this week after residents
overwhelmingly voted against the plan, according to the Associated Press. Now only four cities
remain in the bidding process, and two of those may soon be ruled out — leaving only
Kazakhstan and China as contenders.
The Olympics, in my estimation, are the UN's way to candy-coat the prospect
of a unified world government, with its world-wide laws and
UN flag flies at all competition sites of the Olympic
Games.  The
Olympics are an attempt to show that one country is morally equivalent to another: It's all the
same if the games are hosted by China or England or Russia or the United States. Taxpayers,
especially in the host country, end up paying the bills for the competition without the benefit
of voting on it.
Why Sochi? In all the comment about
this month's Sochi Olympics, there is bewilderment above all about Sochi itself: Why on earth would the Kremlin decide to host the Games
in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby — a place that a front-page New York Times story this week describes
as "the edge of a war zone"?
At the Sochi Olympics, you have to be a Russian politician to know it's not raining. Ignore the attacks
from the rear by the perfidious Western conspirators and propagandists, our common enemies who falsify their reports about the Sochi Games. This great
national festival has dissolved all dissent, and every fear and problem has been resolved. The Olympics are gigantically staged, and a smiling mood
reigns. We see no evidence that it is raining here.
The Media's Most Outrageous Olympic
Outbursts: Saluting the Socialists. Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might
want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games. Over the years the [Media Research
Center] has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in
jabs against Republicans, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the "paucity" of black athletes "makes the Winter Games look like a
Russian Village Used, Abused,
and Forgotten by the Olympics. If any one place embodies the allegations of corruption, abuse, and alarming human cost of the
Sochi Olympics, it's here. Ashtyr, a tiny, impoverished village in the foothills between the coastal and mountain parks where the upcoming
Winter Games will be held, has been used by Olympic planners for its limestone deposits, suffered from the effects of nearby construction, and
had its pleas for help ignored.
visitors' horror at hotels awash with stray dogs, brown water, bugs and no light bulbs. Journalists checking in were left
stunned as they arrived for bookings made last summer to be told they would have to wait indefinitely. The few that did get rooms,
were met with stray dogs, half-built walls, and toxic yellow water spitting from the sinks.
The many, many problems of the Sochi
Olympics. [Scroll down] "The Sochi Olympics are an unprecedented thieves' caper," says former deputy prime minister and
opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. He claims that some $26 billion in phony costs may have been creamed off by contractors, many of
whom are Putin cronies. Consider the new 31-mile road and railway that run from the beachfront town of Adler to the Krasnaya Polyana ski
resort, overseen by Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB general and Putin pal who heads Russian Railways.
Expensive, the Most Corrupt, and the Most Dangerous Olympics in History. There is a good summation of the problems with the Sochi
Winter Olympics by Frances Weaver in The Week today. It's about what you'd expect from modern day Russia ruled by former KGB agent
Vladamir Putin. In fact, the Olympic movement hasn't seen anything remotely like it. First, the cost: $51 billion.
By contrast, the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 cost around $8 billion.
IOC Makes U.S. Hockey
Goalie Remove Constitution From Mask Before Olympics. The International Olympic Committee is requiring U.S. women's hockey goalie
Jessie Vetter to remove an inscription of the U.S. Constitution from her custom mask. The IOC says the inscription is propaganda which
promotes the United States above other countries.
Obama Turns 2014 Winter Olympics into Sexuality Games. Anyone who thought the Olympics was about sports competition among nations apparently
was wrong, at least according to President Barack Obama. Just like he has tried to reinvent America off her throne of greatness, Obama uses the 2014
Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to remake the games into a forum on gay rights.
Olympic outsourcing: Team USA
snowboarders' uniforms foreign-made. The newly-unveiled uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team are star-spangled and red,
white and blue — but they're not made in America.
Olympic-Level Corruption in
Putin's Russia. Last week, there were two amazing, related stories out of the Putin dictatorship. In the first
one, the brilliant Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov, who specializes in watching the Russian secret police, broke the deeply
disturbing news that Putin is planning a massive campaign of eavesdropping on all attendees during the Winter Olympics to be
held next year in Sochi, Russia.
planning 'near-total surveillance' of visitors, athletes at Sochi Winter Olympics. Security measures at the Sochi winter Olympics will include such
extensive electronic eavesdropping and surveillance that the US State Department has advised Americans headed to Russia to leave smart phones and laptops at home,
an investigation has revealed. Research by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two Russian investigative journalists who specialise in covering the security
services, reveals a picture of near-total surveillance, Soldatov said.
The IOC's Biggest Scandals.
Juan Antonio Samaranch ruled the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001. Once a youth organizer for Spain's fascists, he was considered a pioneer
in the modern Games. He wanted to be called "Your Excellency." He created bidding wars for the chance to host the Games, which also makes him the
father of modern Olympic corruption, the architect of selling committee votes to the highest bidder.
Washington DC to Bid for 2024 Summer Olympics.
The inconveniences of the daily routine in the nation's capital will be a selling point as Washington, D.C., makes a push to host the 2024 Olympics.
D.C. bids for 2024 Summer
Olympics; Capital tired of being snubbed. Officials in Washington Tuesday announced plans to seek the 2024 Summer Olympics, a bid to finally
bring the world games to one of the few major capital cities to never hold the event.
The Editor says...
The selection of the host city for the Olympics isn't about finding adequate sports arenas and hotels — it's
all about politics. Washington is run by left-wing Democrats, which makes it a perfect match for the Olympics, which promotes
a massive world-wide government under which any given country is equivalent to any other. The Olympics paints a picture of
affirmative action on a global scale: Obscure countries that produce nothing get the same standing as major countries that drive
of the world's economy.
with the Kumbaya Olympics. Let's keep wrestling. The International Olympic Committee issued a surprise
decision on Tuesday [2/12/2013] to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. For a number of years, the committee
has drawn fire for its lack of transparency. With its secret vote to remove one of the original Olympic sports — one
that dates back 2½ millennia to the first games in ancient Greece — it has added another decision that
Faking and enhancing the sounds of the
Olympics. Ah, there's nothing quite like the serene "swoosh-swooshing" of oars in the water, as Olympic rowers glide along the
water. There really isn't, because those sounds spectators are hearing on their TVs are not live from the event, The Atlantic
reported. In order to keep sight of the boats, broadcasters must follow them with chase boats and a helicopter. The result is that
the sound of the rowing is drowned out by that noise. So, NBC elected to replace the live audio with a recorded soundtrack of rowing
practices to deliver more accurate depiction of what the sport sounds like in its pure form.
Careful What You Wish For. Federal, state and local taxpayers end up paying for these Olympic
athletic enterprises with few lasting benefits.
Homosexuals have special rights and privileges no one else has.
Olympians: We Can't Live Together During Games, But Gay Couples Can. An Australian Olympic married couple claims they have
been prohibited from sharing a room in the London Olympic Village, even though gay couples are reportedly allowed to do so.
Olympic shooters Russell and Lauryn Mark told news.com.au that they are being discriminated against by officials.
NBC Posts $223 Million Loss on
Winter Olympics. The tally is in: NBC lost $223 million on the Winter Olympics in the
Chicago Olympics Bid Could Cost Taxpayers. The City of
Chicago's efforts to land the 2016 Summer Olympics could leave taxpayers across Illinois on the hook for
hundreds of millions of dollars, even though Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) last year vowed "not a dime" of
taxpayer money would be spent on the Olympics. The Illinois legislature is expected to throw taxpayer
support behind Chicago's bid. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who recently took office after lawmakers impeached
and removed Rod Blagojevich from office, has already publicly committed at least $150 million in state
funds for the Olympics — and that could climb higher.
The Olympic Bible: The organizers of the 2008
Olympic Games in China have put the Bible on the list of items that athletes are banned from bringing with
them to Beijing
This would seem to undermine claims by a Chinese government official, Ye Xiaowen,
who told Reuters last month that China would accommodate the religious needs of visiting athletes.
Olympic Committee's Gag Order: I'll put my cards on the table: I'm no
fan of the Olympics. The bizarre North Korean mass-games style ceremonies, the corruption, the
fakey universalist cosmopolitan brotherhood-of-man sentiments, the perpetuation of sports that no one
cares about which should have died out long ago... I think the Olympics is to sports as
the United Nations is to politics.
totalitarian games: Well, the [2008 Olympic] Games have certainly had a lasting effect on one
part of Chinese society — the 1.5 million men, women, and children expelled from their
homes in Beijing to make room for the construction of Olympic facilities and urban beautification
projects. To clear them out, the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions found,
Chinese authorities resorted to "harassment, repression, imprisonment, and even violence." Demolitions
and evictions frequently occurred without due process. Many dispossessed residents were not
compensated; those who were usually received a fraction of the amount needed to make them whole.
gold medals came at a high price. If anybody feels a pang of jealousy over China's haul of
Olympic gold medals, they need only pause to consider what the athletes went through to get them. The
only mother on China's team, Xian Dongmei, told reporters after she won her gold medal in judo that she had
not seen her 18-month-old daughter in one year, monitoring the girl's growth only by webcam. Another
gold medalist, weightlifter Cao Lei, was kept in such seclusion training for the Olympics that she wasn't told
her mother was dying. She found out only after she had missed the funeral.
apologists are wide-eyed and clueless. Poor old Robert Mugabe. Do you know what that guy
needs? An Olympics. Harare 2012, he really missed a trick there. A well-run Games and
nothing else matters. Put on a show, throw up a couple of impressive buildings and the world is your
friend. The road home from Beijing is lined with wide-eyed converts who've seen the light on
I assume you've heard
of Robert Mugabe.
China's hi-tech 'death van': After trials of the mobile
execution service were launched quietly three years ago — then hushed up to prevent an
international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer — these
vehicles are now being deployed across China. The number of executions is expected to rise to a
staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes —
including tax evasion and fraud — are punishable by death in China).
IX Tied Our Hands At the Olympics. U.S. athletes won in spite of Title IX regulations,
which impose gender quotas on sports for institutions that receive any federal money. Title IX has
crippled our national competitiveness. Title IX regulations have forced educational institutions to
eliminate men's teams until the number of men and women on sports teams is the same ratio as the number of men
and women enrolled in academic classes. In the numerous colleges that are now 60 percent female in
academic enrollment, Title IX requires that men's teams be eliminated until only 40 percent of the
athletes are men.
Speaking of Title IX...
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
In a mind-boggling move, NCAA president Miles Brand recently urged NCAA institutions not to blame Title IX for
any athletics cuts that they might be forced to make in the current economic downturn. ... The truth is that
Title IX is always a factor in athletic department program decisions.
Is the NCAA
Anti-Male? In 1972, Congresswoman Patsy Mink authored an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of
1964. ... The law was called Title IX. The question now is whether this admirable idea has
evolved into a law that is anti-male, and particularly anti-black male.
is enough: Here are my reasons for boycotting the Olympics. The International Olympic
Committee and the megabucks corporate sponsors of the games breathed a sigh of relief when the Beijing
Olympics got under way last week with no major boycotts or disruptions. Last spring, faced with
widespread outrage over China's brutal suppression of Tibetan protesters and stubborn support for murderous
regimes in Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe, IOC chairman Jacques Rogge nervously insisted "a boycott doesn't
by China at the Olympics. There is absolutely no doubt — none, zero, zilch —
that the Chinese "women's" gymnastics team featured several little girls no older than 14 years of
age — two years younger than the international federation allows for competition. Online
registrations of these girls list one age, their passports list another. This is blatant
cheating — no other word for it.
games at Olympics. Does it get any lower than to use young girls like this to ensure your
national glory? The people of China deserve better than what has been going on at the Olympics and two
tiny singers, maybe up to four gymnasts and perhaps the whole world are deserving of an apology. Here we
were thinking the Olympics was about integrity, honesty and fair competition.
ChiComs, Crouching IOC. I have an 8-year-old daughter. I know what 8-year-old hands and feet and
hips and teeth look like. They look a lot like the hands and feet and hips and teeth of the purported
"teenagers" on the gold medal-winning Chinese girls' gymnastics team.
The 100-Meter Gasp. The Beijing
Olympics [exposed] the environmentalist fraud that the U.S. is the world's biggest polluter. Compared with China, we
get the gold medal for energy efficiency.
Elderly Chinese women ordered
into re-education for daring to protest. Two elderly women who applied five times for permission
to demonstrate in China's Olympic protest parks against the demolition of their homes have been ordered to serve
a year of re-education through labour, according to a human rights group. It is the toughest penalty to
be reported against any of those who followed up an announcement by the Government that it would allow protests
in three Beijing parks during the Games. So far, police say that they have received 77 applications.
None has been approved.
launches probe into possible underage Chinese gymnasts. The governing body of the Olympic games
is demanding an investigation into whether China stacked its female gymnastics team with underage tumblelinas.
The probe will center on China's gold-medal winning darlings, He Kexin and Yang Yilin.
International Olympic Committee
launches probe into He Kexin's age. The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation
into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning
gymnastics star because she was too young to compete.
Hacker Uncovers Proof Chinese
Gymnast Is Underage. A determined computer expert has delved into cached pages on the Internet
to unearth Chinese official documents showing a gymnast who took gold, edging Britain's Beth Tweddle into
fourth place, may indeed be underage.
bronze medal from China for using underage gymnast at 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ten years after its
gymnastics team won an Olympic bronze medal in Sydney, China was ordered to give it back for using an underage
girl, allowing the United States to claim it instead. Acting on evidence that Dong Fangxiao was only 14
at the 2000 Games, the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday stripped the country of the women's team
And You Thought Watching Was
Torture ... By some estimates, China has as many as 10,000,000 industrial slaves (according to
sociologist Zhou Xiaozeng). What's 10,002,200? Taking politics out of the Olympics means ignoring
the enslaved dancer who suffered paralysis in favor of the strapping American kid who's good at swimming.
If you have no problem doing that and consider the whole charade a wonderful celebration of human achievement,
you are going to love the Pyongyang games.
Olympic fakery makes plain China's
contempt for reality. Time to clear the air: That's not smog hovering over Beijing, swallowing
entire office buildings like a mighty python. It's just "a funny mist," says the city's environmental chief,
who insists that the Chinese government has eliminated air pollution in the capital.
Olympic gold medals
are made of silver. The gold medals awarded at the Beijing Olympics are mostly made of silver,
the Games' organising committee BOCOG admitted on Monday. Each medal contains only 6% pure gold, BOCOG
secretary-general Wang Wei said. The bulk is silver, he added.
Human Rights in China
Worse Since Olympics Started, Experts Say. Experts told CNSNews.com that that [John] Ray's
experience was only an example of the kind of suppression that has occurred in China during the Olympic
Games. "The human rights situation is much worse than it was a month before the games began," John
Tkacik, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told CNSNews.com. "People used to
be able to silently stand at government offices with petitions and protest against various government
transgressions, but now they have all been chased away and some put in prison."
calls for additional examination of Chinese gymnasts' ages. The International Olympic Committee
asked the international gymnastics federation Friday to reexamine whether gold-medal-winning gymnast
He Kexin and two of her teammates were too young to compete in the Beijing Games.
Olympic-Sized Racism: The Aug. 8 parade of nations
featured representatives from 204 countries and territories of varying degrees of sovereignty bearing 204 flags
and wearing 204 outfits designed to reflect the essence of the folks back home. The parade
the most powerful symbol of actual progress the Olympics has to offer. That's especially true when you consider
that people from several of those parading nations first competed in the Olympics at a bizarre, demeaning
borderline-freak show designed to further racial pseudoscience.
rips the wrong guy. Jacques Rogge is so bought, so compromised, the president of the IOC doesn't have
the courage to criticize China for telling a decade of lies to land itself these Olympic Games. All the promises
made to get these Games — on Tibet, Darfur, pollution, worker safety, freedom of expression, dissident
rights — turned out to be phony, perhaps as phony as the Chinese gymnasts' birthdates Rogge was way too
slow to investigate.
fans, spectators wish Beijing would stop adding oil. A large proportion of the audiences who came to
view Olympic events had never seen those sports live before or even, in many cases, on TV. A substantial number
had not been to any stadium to view sports. Thus it did not seem particularly unusual or strange that in the
lead-up to these Olympics, the government should have organised the chanting.
Earlier in the year...
guardians of Olympic torch. China's blue-clad flame attendants, whose aggressive methods of
safeguarding the Olympic torch have provoked international outcry, are paramilitary police from a force spun
off from the country's army. The squad of 30 young men from the police academy that turns out the cream
of the paramilitary security force has the job at home of ensuring riot control, domestic stability and the
protection of diplomats.
says 'no' to China torch guards. Chinese paramilitary police will not be allowed to run alongside
the Olympic torch in Australia, the country's prime minister said Thursday [4/10/2008], after their heavy-handed tactics
drew criticism in earlier legs of the relay. The men in bright blue tracksuits were dispatched by
Beijing to guard the Olympic flame on its journey around the world. They sparked concern in London and
Paris, with the top official for the 2012 London Olympics calling them "thugs."
Accusations spread of
Chinese under-age Olympians. Australian media are reporting today that doubts have been raised
about the ages of Chinese medal-winning athletes as long ago as the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
Age-falsification has become a burning issue since the Beijing Games last month, where it was alleged that
Chinese gymnast He Kexin, who won two gold medals, was underage and therefore should have been ineligible
to compete in the event.
Chinese gymnasts not underage.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) had asked the Chinese federation to submit documents proving the
birthdates of five members of the gold-winning team ... The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had
specifically asked the FIG to investigate double Olympic gold-medalist He, who was registered as 16 although
online media reports suggested she may have been 14. Gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of an Olympics
to take part.
The Editor says...
So the committee is satisfied by documents produced by the Chinese government? No medical
exam? I think a good pediatric dentist could answer most of the age questions in five minutes.
The Twenty Biggest
Stories Of 2008: (#20) China hosts the Olympics: The ChiComs held the Olympics and although
most of the event has already gone down the memory hole, the massive opening ceremony, Michael Phelps winning
eight gold medals, the filthy air, and the rampant Chinese cheating in gymnastics won't soon be forgotten.
wins gold as protesters come to their censors. When Ji Sizun heard that the Chinese Government
had agreed to create three special zones in Beijing for peaceful public protests during the 2008 Olympics, he
celebrated. He said in an interview at the time that he believed the offer was sincere and represented
the beginning of a new era for human rights in China. ... It is now clear that his hope was misplaced.
In the end, official reports show, China never approved a single protest application — despite
repeated pledges to improve its human rights record when it won the bid to host the Games.
cover-up of an Olympic tragedy. As Liu Yan rehearsed her moves on the stage at Beijing's Bird's
Nest stadium one evening last July, she had no idea that it would be the last time she would ever dance.
The Obama Olympics.
Last week, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley led a delegation to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Windy City made
its bid in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago
is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to host the games. ... While Daley was the public face
of Chicago's bid in Lausanne let there be no mistake. The true public face of Chicago's Olympic bid is
its favorite adopted son, President Barack Obama.
taxpayers are in the deep end of an Olympic pool. We're all in — completely,
irrevocably committed to the 2016 Olympic Games — and we're ahead of other bidders, and the
question that occurs now is whether the price will seem worth it at closing ceremonies some seven
years from now. Mayor Daley this week in Switzerland did what Mayor Daley does. That is, he
committed Chicago's every last dollar to staging an Olympics no matter what the cost.
given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games. Police have been
handed 'Chinese-style' powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.
Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops
near official venues to confiscate any protest material. Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine
of up to £20,000.
Obama's Olympic bid
stagecraft. Sixteen days ago, Richard Baehr noted speculation that President Obama would make a
last-minute dramatic trip to Copenhagen this week, to pitch the case for Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics.
The publicly-announced plan had been for Michelle to represent Chicago's bid. Because other contenders were
sending their top leaders, it seemed as if Obama were letting Chicago down. Unless you took the cynical
view and saw this all as dramatic framing of an upcoming event, so as to maximize propaganda benefits.
Obama going to Copenhagen? I think I speak not only for myself but for the 295 million Americans
who don't live in the Chicago area when I say that President Obama has about as much business going to Copenhagen
to push the city's Olympic bid as he does taking up the violin.
for the Olympics, Chicago-style. Social Security is about to run out of money to cover the monthly checks that
millions of senior and disabled Americans depend on to make ends meet. Unemployment is nearing 10 percent nationwide
and has reached its highest mark since World War II among younger Americans, 52 percent. As many as 80,000
people in California's Central Valley are out of work in part because of federal environmental policies that make fish more
important than people. These are only a few of the most important crises facing the nation today. And where is
our president? He is in Copenhagen, Denmark, to deliver a sales pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics.
Obama's Olympic Spirit. It
would seem the Obama administration, which hasn't had time to hold conversations with senior military officials involved
in such a critical national security issue as the war in Afghanistan, has been spending far more time assisting President
Barack Obama's adopted hometown, Chicago, than the White House has previously divulged, using the President's and White
House senior staff's presence at global policy meetings to lobby foreign ministers, diplomats and members of the
International Olympic Committee.
The President as Pitchman:
It Isn't Pretty. Politically, economically and historically it makes no sense for the president to travel
to Denmark to sell Chicago to the Olympic committee.
Rotten in Denmark.
No other U.S. president has ever personally lobbied for the Olympics to be held in this country. Even
President Obama claimed just days ago that he would not go to the Olympics meeting, because he was so
"firmly committed to making real the promise of quality, affordable healthcare for every American."
the President's Olympic Cronies. When government officials play the Olympic lottery, taxpayers
lose. That has been the disastrous experience of host cities around the world. (Forbes magazine
even dubbed the post-Olympic financial burden the "Host City Curse.") So, why are President Obama and
his White House entourage headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, this week to push a fiscally doomed Chicago 2016
bid? Political payback. Bringing the games to the Windy City is Chicago Mayor Richard M.
Obama's Olympian gamble
collapses. U.S. President Barack Obama's politically risky Olympics gamble failed to bring home
the gold on Friday [10/2/2009], with the Olympics committee's refusal to grant the 2016 Summer Games to his
The Winter Olympics:
A Dying Proposition? Whereas the Summer Olympics dwarfs the sister Winter games in terms of
worldwide participation and popular interest, the Winter Olympics features sports that necessitate freezing-temperature
playing fields and national training programs — the Jamaican bobsled team notwithstanding — that
would be hard to implement or sustain in most of the populated world, where athletic development and training
consists of kicking first a can, and later a soccer ball.
grumblings: The Winter Games. An opening ceremony consisting of the RCMP, Natives, k.d. lang
dressed as a man, a plump white poet with a silly beard pretending to be black and what appeared to be the cast of
Avatar all dancing about and explaining how Canada is based entirely on environmental protection and the cult of
equality. The Olympic torch carried by various people who love Canada so much that they haven't lived here in
decades and spend most of their lives pretending to be American.
Olympic Pawns: The
formation of a new and permanent White House Office of Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports will establish
more centralized control over "amateur" sports and over all athletes in the United States. ... When I competed
and traveled as an athlete and United States citizen, I encountered figure skating colleagues who were not
free, from nations with government structures that controlled all aspects of their sports; parents were not
welcome in the decisions of their children's involvement in athletics.
badly: Every two years, the Olympics crowns a new batch of heroes: Cinderellas on ice skates,
flag-waving champions and gritty underdogs who capture hearts around the globe. There's also the blowhards,
cheaters and sore losers. With two days left before the closing ceremonies, the Vancouver games have been
more inspiring than irritating, but like every Olympics, there have been some whiners among the winners.
A few years later...
Chinese gymnast found begging on the street. One of China's most promising young gymnasts,
who seemed destined for Olympic glory before his career ended in injury, has been found begging on the
streets of Beijing, prompting criticism of the country's Soviet-style sports system.
The 2012 Olympics:
Olympics wind turbine is scrapped,
threatening green pledges for 2012. A plan to build a massive wind turbine on the Olympic Park is
to be scrapped, raising questions about whether the environmental pledges for the 2012 London Games can be met.
jets and 13,500 troops on Olympics duty. Up to 13,500 British troops will protect the London Olympics
from a terrorist atrocity, it was revealed today. The figure is 4,000 more than the number who currently
serve in Afghanistan and will see bomb disposal experts, specialist sniffer dog handlers, building search teams
and regular soldiers will support the police to keep the 2012 Games safe.
Violent Anarchist Group Vows
to Wage 'Low Level Warfare' on London Olympics. The Informal Anarchist Federation, also known as the "FAI" after its initials in
Italian, has been making news across Europe recently following a string of violent and destructive crimes. Earlier in May, the group
claimed responsibility for shooting an Italian nuclear executive in the kneecaps during a drive-by attack, warning in a four-page letter
that they would strike the man's company seven more times.
I hate the Olympics.
[T]he whole business is tacky and unedifying and horrible and nationally humiliating, like being invaded by the Disney Corporation
and everyone being forced to wear mouse ears in solidarity with the Dear Leader.
complies with this request:
bans links to its site if you're 'derogatory'. The rules of the London 2012 Olympics site seem to be somewhat
odd, if not inanely unenforceable, if not otherwise objectionable.
The Olympic Spirit and the Islamic Spirit. In a sign of the
times, the London Summer Olympics will be defended by anti-aircraft guns and surface-to-air missiles [...] G4S, the world's largest security
company, was to provide 12,000 security personnel, but has so far only managed to come up with 4,000. In another sign of the times,
not all of their security personnel speak English.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team's Uniforms: Made in China
Team USA Olympic uniforms not made in
USA. Not only do this year's Team USA uniforms look a little militant, but it turns out the London Olympians' duds
were made in China, which, if you didn't know, is not in the United States. Classic Americana designer Ralph Lauren stylized
the team's opening ceremony uniforms, but outsourced the actual tailoring to China.
Want 'Made in China' U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned. Lawmakers were outraged Thursday after an ABC World News report
revealed that the U.S. Olympic team's opening ceremony outfits are made in China. Some suggested making a bonfire with
the outfits, which include berets and blazers.
The Editor says...
Is every country expected to have its uniforms made within its own borders? That would be amusing as well as enlightening.
U.S. Olympic Uniforms: Made in
China by Democratic Donor's company. Lawmakers were livid to discover that the United States' Olympic team uniforms
were made in China. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) even suggested "they should take all the uniforms, put them in a
big pile and burn them and start all over again." The company who designed the uniforms, Ralph Lauren, has received less
scrutiny. Few outlets have noted that Ralph Lauren himself is a prominent contributor to President Obama and the Democratic
Obama, Reid Contributor Ralph Lauren
Outsourced Olympic Uniforms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has raised a furor over the fact that the
uniforms for the US Olympic Team are made in China. Which is to say: outsourced. Who designed these
uniforms? Who actually did the outsourcing of these Olympic uniforms here? That would be the famous American
designer Ralph Lauren. Who has a habit of outsourcing his clothes to places like China, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.
Uh-oh. That would be the same Ralph Lauren who, according to the Federal Elections Commission, on May 7,
2012 — barely two months ago — contributed $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012.
Olympic Uniform Brouhaha Shows the Imperial Democratic Emperor
Has No Clothes. What I found most striking is the attitude of many of the liberals in Congress, typified by the
statement by New York's Senator Gillibrand, as quoted by the Associated Press yesterday, that "There is no compelling reason
why all of the uniforms cannot be made here on U.S. soil at the same price, at better quality." This statement is a
microcosm of what is wrong with the thinking of many liberals in general. Unfortunately, it is obvious that there IS a
compelling reason — though not a pleasant one, and many would say not a justified one — why uniforms
were not made here on U.S. soil; unions have often rendered our goods not competitive, even with the savings of tariffs and
international shipping costs.
accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics. Controversy over the coverage of the Olympics on
American television deepened today when NBC was accused of deliberately editing footage of the women's team gymnastics in order to create
what critics called "fake suspense." Russian world champion Ksenia Afanasyeva's unexpected fall during the floor exercises, which
effectively handed a gold medal to Team USA during an early stage of the contest, was inexplicably removed from the time-delayed version
of events that NBC presented to its prime-time television viewers.
Other sports news and commentary:
Rio Olympics: Sailing with sewage. If Rio de Janeiro can't clean up Guanabara Bay in
time for its use as the sailing and windsurfing venue for the 2016 Olympic Games, competitors could
confront some unaccustomed challenges: millions of dead fish, sewage, "floating sofas, plastic bags
and even dead animals" and a deadly "super bacteria." With the games only 17 months away,
athletes are concerned and disappointed.
Calls on NASCAR to End Funding to Al Sharpton. A government watchdog group is calling
on NASCAR to cut ties with the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in response to the cable
news host's comments about police in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and
the questionable financial activities at his nonprofit groups.
survivor: The truth about Super Bowl and sex. The Super Bowl [...] draws a massive
audience from every demographic and pumps millions if not billions of dollars into our economy.
And every year, as if on cue, the city hosting the Super Bowl announces an awareness campaign to
combat sex trafficking around what many in the media have referred to as "the biggest weekend for
Arthur Blank on crowd noise: 'What we've done ... is wrong'. Atlanta Falcons owner
Arthur Blank introduced new head coach Dan Quinn, fresh off the plane from Phoenix, on Tuesday
[2/3/2015]. And after the requisite excited-to-be-here's from Quinn, talk turned to the ongoing
investigation of the Falcons regarding allegations of faked crowd noise at the Georgia Dome.
Blank was unequivocal, saying he was "angry and embarrassed" that the NFL is looking into whether
Atlanta piped in crowd noise to impact play during Falcons home games over the last two seasons.
Fear and Loathing at the Nanny
Bowl. [Fortunately] the on-field action was so compelling, because the ads were so unpalatable.
By my rough count, there were at least two ads featuring people with no legs, one with a missing father, one with
misogynistic anti-male crack from comedienne Sarah Silverman, and one ad bullying a ten year old boy because he
said someone "plays like a girl." (The horror.) And perhaps most infamously based on comments on
Twitter and even the London Daily Mail, one dead ten year old boy, thanks to Nationwide.
Bowl sex 'sting' nabs 570. Some 570 would-be sex buyers were arrested in a national
Super Bowl "sting" that ended on Super Bowl Sunday, an Illinois sheriff said Monday [2/2/2015].
Another 23 people were arrested for trafficking or acting as pimps, and dozens of adults and
juvenile victims were recovered.
overinflate Super Bowl 'heroes'. Let's remember a key fact as we prepare snacks and
grab the remote to watch the Super Bowl. The people playing in the game are important only because
they happen to be good at football. They aren't super heroes. They aren't necessarily good at
anything beyond football. Some are philanthropists who give back to their communities, but even
those efforts are the result of being good at football.
survivor: The truth about Super Bowl and sex. The Super Bowl [...] draws a massive
audience from every demographic and pumps millions if not billions of dollars into our economy.
And every year, as if on cue, the city hosting the Super Bowl announces an awareness campaign to
combat sex trafficking around what many in the media have referred to as "the biggest weekend for
NFL Doesn't Want to Know How Deflate-gate Happened. [W]e are just ten days from the
Super Bowl and there is very strong evidence of cheating. If the league quickly learns who is
responsible, it would have to suspend the cheater(s) from the big game or be mercilessly ridiculed
for turning a blind eye. The NFL obviously does not want to suspend star players or coaches
from its showcase event.
Winston Cleared of Rape Like Every Other College Sports Star. His accuser was smeared
and demeaned, and a star football player was allowed to keep on playing. This has been going on
for too long.
How the NFL
leaves players broken — and broke. "Is There Life After Football?" brings
us inside the lives of NFL players to show why so many wind up in dire straits after their time on
the field, from depression to debilitating lifelong injuries to catastrophic financial
mismanagement. While much-publicized concussions and head injuries account for some of the
problems, they're just one possible hardship of many for those who spend years slamming into each
other at full speed.
to St. Louis Rams: 'Shut Up and Play'. "I don't know about you, but when I watch
football, I want to watch football," Van Susteren said at the top of the segment Monday evening
[12/1/2014]. "I don't want to watch someone's political agenda shoved down my throat, whether I'm
in agreement with it or not." The host went on to ask why there weren't similar displays in reaction
to the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, asking, "Why ruin football with politics and controversy?
It's just a game."
NFL says it won't discipline
Rams players for Ferguson protest. The NFL will not adhere to a request from the St.
Louis Police Officer's Association to discipline St. Louis Rams players who did the "hands up, don't
shoot" pose used by protesters in Ferguson, Mo. during pre-game introductions on Sunday. [...] The
police officer's association issued a letter late Sunday condemning the players' actions as
"tasteless, offensive and inflammatory" given a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police
officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.
Police angry at 'hands
up' gesture by St. Louis Rams players. A group representing police in St. Louis says
it's infuriated after five St. Louis Rams players raised their hands Sunday in solidarity with
protesters upset at Michael Brown's death. The St. Louis Police Officers Association says it's
"profoundly disappointed" with those football players who sent a silent but strong message before
playing Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Louis Police Demand Rams Punish Players for 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Pose. Before
Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, several St. Louis Rams players entered the field with a
"hands up, don't shoot" pose, a reference to the shooting death of Michael Brown, which has roiled
nearby Ferguson, MO. Guess who didn't appreciate that: the St. Louis Police Officers
Association, which is demanding that the team apologize and the players be punished.
Rams players use 'hands
up, don't shoot' pose while taking field. Five St. Louis Rams players took the field
for Sunday's [11/30/2014] home game against the Oakland Raiders with a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose
that has been used by protestors in Ferguson, Mo., and across the country recently.
Louis police group demands punishment for Rams players in Ferguson protest. A St.
Louis police officers' group called on the NFL to punish five Rams players who stood with their
hands raised before trotting onto the field for pregame introductions Sunday [11/30/2014]. The St. Louis Police
Officers' Association said it was "profoundly disappointed" with what it called a "display that police
officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory." It called for the players
involved to be disciplined and for both the league and team to issue a "very public apology."
The Editor says...
I can see how the lowest-class unemployed simpleton in the streets (with nothing to lose) might be drawn into a
stunt of this sort, but not a well-paid professional athlete. The participants in this case
can't conceal their identity, and their employer can't be happy about the publicity.
Can't a professional football team afford to pay the minimum wage?
homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force, revenue source. Before every Tampa Bay Buccaneers
home game, dozens of men gather in the yard at New Beginnings of Tampa, one of the city's largest homeless programs. The men —
many of them recovering alcoholics and drug addicts — are about to work a concessions stand behind Raymond James Stadium's iconic
pirate ship, serving beer and food to football fans.
an F.S.U. Football Player, a Hit and Run Becomes Traffic Tickets. In the early morning
hours of Oct. 5, as this college town was celebrating another big football victory by Florida State
University, a starting cornerback on the team drove his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle
driven by a teenager returning home from a job at the Olive Garden. Both cars were totaled. But
rather than remain at the scene as the law requires, the football player, P. J. Williams, left his
wrecked vehicle in the street and fled into the darkness along with his two passengers, including
Ronald Darby, the team's other starting cornerback.
Academic fraud benefits the entire university community except the black students. If universities
can maintain the scholar-athlete charade, they earn tens of millions of dollars in sports revenue.
Other than as a pretense, academics can be ignored. The university just has to create academic
slums, where weak students can "succeed." Stronger academic departments benefit because they do not
have to compromise their standards and bear the burden of having to deal with weak students. Then
there's that feather in the diversity hat upon which university administrators are fixated. I
guarantee you that academic fraud is by no means unique to UNC. As such, it represents gross
dereliction and dishonesty on the parts of university administrators and faculty members.
Lakers 'Showtime' Threatened by Class Action Over Text Messages. On their home court
at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers are known for giving their fans "showtime" in the form
of exciting basketball. One fan, however, wants to give back to the team in the form of a class
action lawsuit. Why is he suing the Lakers? During a game, the team offered fans the chance to
have their custom text message displayed on the "Jumbotron." Because of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act of 1991, a law originally designed to stop telemarketers from systematically calling
huge batches of numbers, this fan and others are able to sue the Lakers and the Clippers for getting
any text sent back to them, even though they initiated the first text to participate in the offer.
Former UNC athlete sues school
over academic scandal. A former University of North Carolina football player has
become the first to sue the university over an 18-year academic scandal that kept athletes eligible
to play sports by taking classes that never met. Mike McAdoo was a football player who lost his
eligibility in 2011 when he was accused of getting too much help with a paper, and was one of the
first athletes revealed to have taken part in "paper classes," for which the only requirement was
completing a single paper. Now he's suing the university in federal court, saying UNC broke its
promise to give him an education in return for playing sports.
The Editor asks...
He's just now figuring that out?
Abandon The Scholar-Athlete Charade. Rampant academic cheating is not confined to
primary and secondary schools. Cheating occurs in the nation's colleges, as discovered during an
investigation at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina, the state's flagship
university. Over two decades, more than 3,100 students enrolled in and received credit for taking
nonexistent phantom classes in the university's department of African and African-American studies.
Nearly 50 percent of the students taking the phantom classes were athletes on the university's
football and basketball teams.
president calls on Univ. of North Carolina to lose accreditation over athlete grading fraud. There is
no question that the University of North Carolina committed fraud for almost 2 decades by giving fake grades to
college athletes taking fake or non-existent course, in order to profit from football and basketball revenues.
While the University is blaming a low level administrator, there is plenty of reason to suspect that senior levels knew
or should have known of the fraud, as Robert Weissberg points out today on our pages.
fraud uncovered at UNC. A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the
University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, encompassing about 1,500 athletes
who got easy A's and B's over a span of nearly two decades, according to an investigation released
UNC report finds 18 years
of academic fraud to keep athletes playing. For 18 years, thousands of students at the
prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes
into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday
[10/22/2014]. "These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded
as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report. He
conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.
Athletes took fake classes at University of North Carolina. More than 3,000 students
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year
period as part of a program that allowed many of them to remain eligible to play sports, according
to a report released on Wednesday [10/22/2014].
11 colleges ban booing at soccer
games. Fans attending men's college soccer games in New England are expected not to boo if they don't like something
on the field, according to a recent letter sent out by the New England Small College Athletic Conference. "As a supporter,
we ask you not engage in any unsportsmanlike actions, which include booing, taunting, profanity, rude language or gestures, or any
other action that could be potentially construed as negative or confrontational," the NESCAC letter read.
NFL Is Full of Ray Rices. The Baltimore Raven was indefinitely suspended but even one
of his teammates suited up after punching a girlfriend in the neck. So much for zero tolerance.
takes $70M first steps to helping players with head injuries. The NCAA agreed on
Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that
college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go nearly
far enough. The deal, filed in US District Court in Chicago, calls for the NCAA to toughen
return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows and create a $70 million fund to pay for
thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain
trauma while playing football and other contact sports.
California banned full-contact football practices. A new California law bans full-contact
football practices for middle and high school students due to concerns over possible concussions.
In Los Angeles, a high school now has mandatory baseline testing for concussions for all students.
The Editor says...
If the public schools (or colleges) had extracurricular firearms training that resulted in concussions, broken bones
and paralysis, in addition to a dozen fatalities per year, those programs would be banned in no time.
But if the same injuries and deaths occur while playing football, somehow they are acceptable.
12 high school and college football players die each year. Researchers from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports
Injury Research studied 243 football deaths recorded between July 1990 and June 2010. Their study found heart conditions, heat and
other non-traumatic causes of death are twice as common as injury-related ones.
If you owned Babe Ruth's bat, would you let this guy touch it?
Obama swings Babe Ruth's bat at Baseball
Hall of Fame. President Obama turned tourist at the Baseball Hall of Fame Thursday [5/22/2014], employing a time-tested strategy of
embracing sports when the going gets tough in politics. Obama cradled Babe Ruth's bat and examined Joe DiMaggio's glove at the
shrine to America's pastime in upstate Cooperstown — while trying to boost his own batting average with the public.
Warriors Coach Fired for Christian Views on Homosexuality. Was Golden State Warriors head coach
Mark Jackson fired for his Christian views on gay marriage? That's what Ann Killion is asking at sfgate.com,
noting that Jackson's lukewarm reaction to the coming-out of Jason Collins, last year was something of a mismatch
for the Bay Area, which is the global capital of gay politics and culture.
College Sports Pits Unions Against Socialist Principles. The recent controversy over efforts to unionize
college athletes rests on the presumption that those who receive scholarship money are in fact employees. Unions
see themselves standing for the little guy against the interests of the rich employer. However, far from advancing
the goals of socialism, unionization of college sports would make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, in the world of
University football players to receive maternity coverage under Obamacare. You probably heard by now that the National
Labor Relations Board (NRLB), in their infinite wisdom, put the stamp of approval on college football players being treated as full
time employees with the right to unionize. Well, I suppose everything comes with a few unintended consequences, [...]
Unionization Decision Opens a Can of Worms. A National Labor Relations Board official has given
the green light to Northwestern University football players to form a union. The March 26 decision
by the NLRB's Chicago regional director, Peter Sung Ohr, held that scholarship football players are "employees"
for purposes of federal labor law. [...] While Ohr's decision makes sense on an intuitive level —
players are paid to perform a service and are therefore employees — it leads to more questions than
answers. For example, if players are employees, do their scholarships now constitute taxable income?
Can athletic departments, many of which are organized as non-profit corporations designed to promote amateur
athletics, continue to accept tax-deductible donations from alumni? And will other labor laws, including
overtime and worker's compensation, now apply to football players?
Rules in Favor of Student-Athlete Unionization. A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled
Wednesday [3/26/2014] that scholarship athletes should be considered "employees" with rights to unionize under federal law.
The decision stems from an attempt by the Northwestern University football team to form a labor union.
Northwestern football players overwhelmingly vote to reject unionization. The regional NLRB's (immediately
appealed) March ruling that Northwestern University football players are employees of the school, and are therefore
entitled to form a union [...] precipitated today's vote — the official results of which likely won't be known
for months, or even years, due to a lengthy anticipated appeals process. The unionization push has become a hot topic
in sports media and a political lightning rod.
NYPD Union To
Join Lawsuit Against NFL Gun Ban. The New York Police Department's Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) will join
Minnesota police unions' lawsuit against NFL gun ban. According to the New York Post, SBA president Edward Mullins said the
NFL's policy barring off-duty officers from carrying guns into games "is a violation of any state laws that allow off-duty cops to
carry their guns in public places."
says Mavs wouldn't move to make way for a GOP convention in '16. The Dallas Mavericks are not willing to relocate potential
playoff games from American Airlines Center to make way for the 2016 Republican National Convention, team owner Mark Cuban said Thursday.
Asked by email whether he would be willing to vacate his team's home arena to accommodate the convention, Cuban said: "No and we
NFL to penalize use of racial
slur. The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where
players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.
A flag and 15 yards for a
slur. Seventy percent of the players in the NFL are black, and by the math, most of the 15-yard penalties assessed
for violation of the dirty-speech rule will be black. Beyond that, say some black players, the use of the n-word is cultural,
and in friendly conversations between black players it isn't always a slur spoken in anger. In the NBA, where nearly all the
players are black, there's even greater skepticism of how such a rule could be applied.
NFL Considering Penalizing Players 15 Yards for Racial, Anti-Gay Slurs. The NFL may penalize players 15 yards for racial and
homophobic slurs and eject them from the game after a second offense. John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group that monitors
diversity, told ESPN that he "expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field."
The Editor says...
What's the penalty for using words like honky and cracker, or the F-word, or the MF-word? Only one spectator in a thousand can hear
what the players say, so who cares what words are exchanged? The fans don't come to a football game to see the players treat one another with
courtesy and civility.
What happened to E pluribus unum?
block game ticket sales to California, 43 other states. The good feelings between the 49ers and Seahawks could never last.
Last week, fans from both teams decided to donate money to children's hospitals in Seattle and San Francisco. Now, the Seahawks are
limiting ticket sales to just six states and the Canadian Provinces.
College basketball, football athletes can barely
read. The headline over the dispatch this week says it all: "CNN Analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like
fifth-graders." For those familiar with college athletics — especially the sports that bring in the millions — that's
not exactly a news flash. But a researcher at the University of North Carolina, Mary Willingham, came in for particular vitriol after
reporting that of 183 Tar Heel football or basketball players, 60 percent were reading at levels between fourth and eighth grade.
NFL Fan Blasts Hypocrisy
of Rejecting Home Defense Ad by Gun Company. It seems the Super Bowl has fallen victim to political correctness. They've
decided to ban a pro-Second Amendment — and pro-veteran — Super Bowl ad by Daniel Defense, a company that sells guns,
detailing a father who declares that he will protect his family. "No one has the right to tell me how to defend them," he says.
The banning promoted this epic response from Colion Noir, a football fan, attorney — and NRA News commentator — who
destroys the NFL for their hypocrisy.
Anti-Gun NFL: National Frauds' League.
The National Football League's hypocrisy and selective decency standards reek like a post-game locker room. On the one hand, the organization
refuses to run a firearms manufacturer's self-defense Super Bowl ad under the guise of neutrality and taste. Yet, the professional football
conglomerate routinely revels in raunchiness, gratuitous physical violence and anti-gun screeds.
Delta Air Lines
bumps passengers for University of Florida basketball team. On one of the busiest flying days of the year, Delta Air Lines cancelled an
Atlanta-bound commercial flight from Gainesville Regional Airport to accommodate the University of Florida men's basketball team.
cremated remains left on Auburn's field after Iron Bowl. In Alabama, college football is life and death, and following the Tigers'
incredible 34-28 win over the Crimson Tide on Saturday, one fan scattered the cremated remains of a loved one on the turf at Jordan-Hare
fan shot dead outside football party. An Alabama fan was shot dead after a fight outside a football-watching party shortly after the Crimson
Tide lost in a stunning upset to the Auburn Tigers Saturday [11/30/2013]. Michelle Shepherd was attacked by fellow fans of the University of Alabama after she
commented that she didn't care that much that the team had lost, her sister says.
Dems Hold 'Closed-Door
Discussion' with NFL, NBA, NHL to Promote Climate Change Agenda. Climate change alarmists have turned to recruiting sports leagues to
promote eco-hysteria. Democrats in Congress are calling on the major sports leagues to promote climate change regulation and to answer what
they are doing to limit greenhouse gases. Democratic legislators from the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change announced on Nov. 20
that they will host major sports league officials in "a closed-door discussion," Nov. 21. Representatives from Major League Baseball,
the NFL, NBA/WNBA, NHL and Olympics are expected to attend.
Stadiums 'at Risk from... Sea-Level Rise Effects of Climate Change'. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) warns sports stadiums are at
risk from the "sea level rise effects of climate change," and that climate change specifically threatens hockey and skiing. "We see
significant sports facilities, the palaces of — of sport that are at risk from the storm, climate, sea-level rise effects of climate change,"
Sen. Whitehouse said today following a closed-door climate discussion with executives from the NFL, NHL and NBA.
The Editor says...
As I have shown on another nearby page, global warming is blamed for everything,
but there have always been storms. If you think the mean sea level is about to increase dramatically in the next few decades, then
don't build a stadium one foot above sea level.
Is the Left taking over sports, too? "It's funny to
listen to sports commentators on the radio who have clearly been brought up through public schools and state university journalism programs talk about
class and race and gender like a sociology major from Smith or Dennison," says R.J. Moeller, a conservative who also writes about sports and
culture. "They hate any strong male coaches. They hate any sort of patriotism associated with the sport. They're treating sports and
holding what goes on in locker rooms to the same standard they would a diversity and social justice mediation seminar on Google's campus."
Moeller's not alone in feeling this way. Others cite the "feminization" of sports and the liberal tilt of modern sports coverage as cause for
ESPN Commentator: National Anthem a 'War Anthem,' Shouldn't
Be Played Before Games. On ESPN's Around the Horn, frequent guest Kevin Blackistone said that football games should not include the
singing of the national anthem beforehand, as that added to the "military symbolism." He actually called the Star-Spangled Banner a "war anthem."
NFL ban off-duty cops from carrying guns
into stadiums. Off-duty cops are no longer able to carry their weapons to NFL stadiums according to a new policy. Texas is the only
state in which an off-duty cop can carry his gun into the stadium. When checking in, a cop can use a special gate and inform stadium officials of
where they will be seated with their gun. The head of Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Bob Cherry, is outraged by the NFL's decision.
How much of the NFL breast
cancer gear revenue actually goes to research? The NFL has been promoting its breast cancer awareness program through pink equipment and
Web campaigns. Players are wearing pink shoes, cheerleaders don pink outfits and the NFL official merchandise website is full of gear that fans
can buy to support the American Cancer Society's breast cancer research. But how much of the money raised through gear sales actually goes to
breast cancer research? Only $8 out of every $100 spent on merchandise, according to an ESPN reporter.
NFL Bars Off-Duty Cops from Carrying Guns
into Stadiums. The National Football League has implemented a new stadium policy that would ban off-duty police officers from carrying guns into
games. Cleveland's police union president worried the policy would stop officers from assisting if a dangerous situation arose.
about gun free zones.
NFL security sacks some fans. Twenty minutes after kickoff for the Bears' final preseason game, swaths of people were still heading through
tunnels south of Soldier Field after unsuccessfully trying to get backpacks, large purses and fanny packs into Thursday night's game. They were
headed to a block of about 600 lockers that could store their prohibited items for $10 cash.
Cardinals remove religious symbols from pitcher's mound following fan's complaints. The St. Louis Cardinals have done away
with religion at Busch Stadium after a fan raised hell over Christian symbols on the pitching mound.
Separation of church and baseball — no doubt the courts
can find that in the Constitution, too.
Cross written in
sand not allowed to honor beloved player. Political correctness infected the world of sports recently, when the St.
Louis Cardinals' management put an end to the recent practice of etching a cross and the number 6 into the pitcher's mound to
honor a Cardinal great, the late Stan Musial. The number and cross only began appearing in recent weeks on the mound, just
behind the rubber.
Tarkenton: NFL covering up biggest sports scandal of all time. "Here is the biggest cover-up of all," Tarkenton warned.
"They talk about safety in the National Football League. How can you have safety in the National Football League when you have
performance-enhancing drugs?" Tarkenton insisted performance enhancing drugs were "all over" college and professional football,
which made the game more dangerous.
Islam, purses, seat cushions, coolers banned from NFL games. It's certainly not illegal immigrants they are worried about so it
must be terrorists.
NFL Bans Purses From Stadiums. Starting
with preseason games in 2013, women will no longer be allowed to bring purses to NFL games unless they are made of clear plastic or clutch
bags no bigger than the size of a hand. Fanny packs, seat cushions, briefcases, and computer bags will also not be allowed.
Blankets, though, will still be permitted.
NFLPA selling LGBT pride shirts.
The union that represents NFL players has launched a line of LGBT pride shirts. The NFL Players Association announced the
launch on Wednesday [6/12/2013] in conjunction with LGBT Pride Month, which is June.
Is Football on Its Deathbed? Lawsuits over players' brain injuries
have some saying football is dead. In fact, it has dislodged baseball as the national pastime and will remain America's passion for decades to come.
Bread and Circuses:
The Last Days of the American Empire. Pan et Circenses (Bread and Circuses) famously described the relationship between
the Roman Emperor and his people in the decadent years of the Empire, and they seem fairly applied to America today. We have, in line
with our technological advancement, upgraded (if that is the term) to food stamps (47.5 million and counting) and sports, but the broad
scenario hasn't changed.
The Super Bowl Veers Left. During
Sunday's Super Bowl, the advertising and programming executives in Hollywood and New York graced us with their version of what we want to
see. And if it's any reflection of reality, we're becoming a coarser, stupider, and less value-oriented nation.
Illustrated Names Obama One of the Most Powerful People in Sports. The media's adoration of Barack Obama knows no bounds.
Why I'm Canceling My SI Subscription.
I am going to let my subscription to Sports Illustrated lapse when it runs out this year. I hope lots of other people will do the same.
Like too many other publications, the magazine has become dishonest, dishonorable and even occasionally despicable in its conformist, lockstep
left-wing bias. Republican politicians and conservative positions are routinely insulted in articles having nothing to do with either.
The Toy Department. A common claim is, "We watch sports to
take our minds off the real world." How this can be true is beyond me, unless they consider the doings of unions, lawyers, agents, drug-testers
and congressional investigators not parts of real life. Mix in the all-too-often accounts of wife-beating, DUIs, drug busts, and the occasional
murder charge, and you're sometimes unsure of which section of the newspaper you've wandered into.
Costas, NFL Surrounded by Armed Security. Bob Costas' gun control rant was bad but made worse by one key point —
he lives much of his life with the benefit of armed security. If you've ever been to an NFL game this point is academic. The
number of armed policemen you pass between the gate your seat is incredible. And if you get behind the scenes, in certain corridors,
the armed presence can be just as strong (or stronger). Those policeman and security personnel are there to preserve order and to
protect their assets, be they football players, football coaches, or the celebrities and news anchors in attendance.
Study Reinforces Link Between Head Trauma, Brain Damage.
An extensive Boston University study of head trauma found strong evidence that repeated blows to the head can lead to long-term brain damage.
The study, conducted by the BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, looked at the brains of 85 football players, boxers and
military veterans. Sixty-eight of the subjects — or 80 percent — showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Before steroids and HGH and the cream and the clear and other substances of superpower magic, we had old-school baseball: You know,
stealing signs from center field, corking the bat, spitting on the ball, using the catcher's belt buckle to cut the ball, nail files, watering
the dirt around the basepaths if the visiting team had speedy players, rubbing pine tar or other sticky goo on your glove, maybe a little
K-Y jelly on the bill of your cap, pitching from six inches in front of the rubber, using superballs in your bat, taping a thumbtack
to your index finger ...
Why College Football Should Be Banned: In more than
20 years I've spent studying the issue, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that college football has anything do with what is presumably the primary
purpose of higher education: academics. That's because college football has no academic purpose. Which is why it needs to be banned. A
radical solution, yes. But necessary in today's times.
Texas Rangers ready to roll with $26 hot
dog. When fans belly up to stadium concession areas on opening day on April 6, they will be able to purchase a
one-pound hot dog priced at $26.
$26 Hot dog!
Team president Nolan Ryan did not mince words with ESPN Radio in Dallas regarding the Texas Rangers' most recent
acquisition — a two-foot-long, one-pound gourmet hot dog that feeds three or four fans and costs $26.
America's One True Religion:
The hold of sports on the American psyche and imagination is so complete, so absolute, that for some poor souls,
it's their one true religion. And if fans worship certain athletes, those athletes join in their adoration,
exulting, gloating, and prancing in the end zone. ... To cater to our new religion, most major metropolitan
newspapers devote an entire section to sports.
Fear and Loathing at Arrowhead Stadium. Claims that
Kansas City Chiefs organization taps phones, spies on employees.
Fears "Cougars" Mascot Will Offend Women. A Utah school district decided not to select a cougar as the
mascot of a new high school partly because school officials and some parents believed the word is disrespectful to women.
The Editor says...
One by one, legitimate and harmless words are being hijacked by the amoral dregs of society.
reaching $7,000. You'll need to strike oil to afford a seat at the Giants-Dallas game on Sunday
night. The do-or-die game against the Cowboys is one of the NFL's hottest tickets of 2011, with an average
price that's nearing a record for the season.
football took over our culture. Nothing brings us together like the NFL, which last year provided
America with eight of the top highest-rated telecasts and the highest-rated TV program of all time (Super Bowl
XLV). Last week a football program was the week's highest-rated show in 29 different markets — even
in Indianapolis, where yet another loss by the now 0-13 Indianapolis Colts drew 50% of the viewing audience.
Who Forbid Footballs. A public school in Toronto has put a ban on most balls their kiddos toss
around during recess because school administrators have deemed such projectiles dangerous. ... In this day of
Puss 'n Boots squish, do we really need more softies who don't have enough sense to avoid getting
hit in the mouth by a slider? Getting rocked up in the face by a fastball could be the best thing that
ever happened to your stupid kid. Pain is God's way of telling your lackluster boy to quit texting and
watch the game.
The Footage the NFL
Won't Show You. If you ask the league to see the footage that was taken from on high to show the
entire field and what all 22 players did on every play, the response will be emphatic. "NO ONE
gets that," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email. This footage, added fellow league spokesman
Greg Aiello, "is regarded at this point as proprietary NFL coaching information." For decades, NFL TV
broadcasts have relied most heavily on one view: the shot from a sideline camera that follows the progress
of the ball. Anyone who wants to analyze the game, however, prefers to see the pulled-back camera angle
known as the "All 22."
Bobby Rush: NCAA is dirty, 'would make the mob look like choirboys'. Issuing a call for Congress
to involve itself in monitoring college sports, Democratic Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush said the NCAA "would make
the mob look like choirboys." "I have this innate understanding of the NCAA, and I think it is one of
the most vicious, most ruthless organizations that was created by mankind," Rush said Tuesday [11/1/2011]
during a roundtable discussion he organized.
Some Peanuts and Crackerjack. Ah, baseball! That hallmark of summer; those men in their
dusty uniforms, the sound of the loudspeakers, the electronic scoreboard. Beer vendors crying out their
presence amidst the sweating crowd of boosters, and the smells of the concession stands where a plethora of
American fare may be purchased and consumed. Hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, etc. Ballpark
food is party food, treats to be indulged in by reveling fans to celebrate the joys of summer and their
favorite teams. Nobody goes to the ballpark to eat a major meal.
Night at US Cellular Field. Monday night, July 25th 2011 People's World/Mundo Popular will
be holding their 6th annual tailgate BBQ and fundraiser at US Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox.
Although Barack Obama will not be able to attend this openly communist fundraising event, his rabid supporter
Pepe Lozano will be on hand for the gala evening. Chicago native Pepe Lozano is a writer for CPUSA's
People's World and a key leader of the Chicago Young Communist League.
Wrestler forfeits rather than fight a girl.
girl wrestlers: Some drama, some sport. The crowd cheered as Cassy Herkelman's hand was
raised, but the historic moment of the first girl to win a match at the traditional state wrestling
meet comes with an asterisk. Her opponent, Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar of Marion, forfeited.
Not Wrestling Girls.
It's so easy to look at teenagers in general today and sigh. They're more than a bit lazy, a bit
spoiled and more than a bit morally compromised. Two teenagers made national news. One showed
common decency and sportsmanship, two virtues seemingly uncommon in that generation. Hope is restored.
Be Wrestling Girls? This year's Iowa state championships attracted attention nationwide when
the promising high school sophomore Joel Northrup (the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state) defaulted on his
first match. He had drawn Cassy Herkelman, a female freshman, as his opponent, and he could not, in
good conscience, wrestle a girl. ... Had he not declined to wrestle Herkelman, he might have won it all.
The New York Times, the AP, and other national news organizations noted that Northrup's father is a minister —
the suggestion being that such peculiar and backward views as the young man expressed must be chalked up to a
religious sensibility. Most of the coverage stressed the "girl against the old boys network" angle.
Point to heavens means penalty for Tumwater
running back. Tumwater beat East Valley 63-27 on Monday night at the Tacoma Dome during the 2A state
semifinal game, but a post-touchdown penalty call was a big surprise for the player responsible. In the second
quarter of the game, Tumwater running back Ronnie Hastie scored on a 23-yard run, took a knee in the end zone and
briefly pointed to the heavens above. For that the referee threw a flag, saying it was unsportsmanlike conduct.
and Baloney. The bean-counters have struck again — this time in the sports pages.
Two New York Times sport writers have discovered that baseball coaches from minority groups are found
more often coaching at first base than at third base. Moreover, third-base coaches become managers
more often than first-base coaches.
No 'cheers' for
latest Title IX decision. Title IX, a section of a federal education law passed in 1972, has
become an exemplar of the kind of government action that initially was justified but since has taken on a
life of its own grounded in legal and bureaucratic nonsense. A new federal court ruling on "competitive
cheer" versus women's volleyball makes clear the descent of Title IX into absurdity.
Soccer ball makers in
poverty. Thirteen years ago companies such as adidas and Nike joined labour and development organisations
to end the use of an estimated 7000 children to stitch soccer balls. However, "child labour continues to exist" in
the three main ball-making countries — Pakistan, China and India...
The reality of
international soccer — anti-American bias. International soccer is an artistic
expression painted by referees on a canvas of grass with athletes as brushes. Neither current public
comments of frustration or the reactions of American players sufficiently explains how international referees
create and render the game of international "soccer." The referees do not specify any foul when they
are called. So "offsides" or "tripping" are never named when they are called by a referee. The
referees do not have to provide any clarification apart from where the kick shall proceed from as
it re-enters play.
bin Laden and jihadists love soccer and the World Cup. We're not the only ones who love the
World Cup. Osama Bin Laden and his fellow jihadists do, too. Several prominent Islamist
organizations have ties to soccer, according to Newsweek. And jihadists use the sport to bond
with potential recruits.
Soccer: The Perfect
Socialist Sport. The world's most popular sport? Puh-leeze. This is like saying that
dirt is more popular than gold simply because there is more of it. Last time I checked, soccer was very
popular where starvation, archery, and badminton were the alternative activities.
A Global Sports
Problem: The 2010 World Cup opens in South Africa in a few weeks. As a sports event, it is
unrivaled in its popularity. It promises to bring a half-million soccer fans to that country. But
it will also draw out the worst of the worst. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the economic
promise of an expected half a million largely male incoming consumers is attracting a massive influx of
prostitutes from across the border in Zimbabwe.
Athlete at Texas School Really 22. A West Texas student who led his high school basketball team
to the state playoffs last season was actually a 22-year-old man, police said Tuesday [5/11/2010].
High's basketball version of 'Blind Side' was a mirage. Jerry Joseph's story was inspiring:
He arrived in West Texas as a 15-year-old, homeless Haitian immigrant. ... Much to Odessa's chagrin, Joseph
turned out to be an impostor and a liar. Investigators confirmed last week that his real name is
Guerdwich Montimer. He is 22 and he already had graduated from a Florida high school in 2007, almost
two years before he arrived in Odessa.
a soccer game by more than five points and you lose, Ottawa league says. In yet another nod
to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children's soccer league has introduced a rule that
says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.
Places Where politics Doesn't Belong. [#7] Sporting events: Should Major League
baseball yank the All-Star game from Arizona to send a message about their immigration law? Should the
Los Suns deliberately flip off the fans who shell out 90 bucks a pop to watch them play? It's one
thing for an athlete to get involved off the field, but do we really need to know the Washington Redskins'
official position on abortion? Do the Boston Celtics need to take a stance on border security?
owners never fight for fans. What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were
sneaking into Suns' games without paying? What if the owners had a good idea as to who the gate-crashers
are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs,
thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected?
Horsehide Hangover. I
have given up wondering when sports — which used to be a way to encourage young men away from more dissolute
pursuits — has now embraced all that is debased in our modern culture; the objectification of women as sex
toys, vulgar language, egotism, and violence. All of this was on display during "The Hangover" promo and another
one for a flick aptly titled, "Drag Me to Hell;" both of which would have never appeared in prime time a few short years
ago, but now invade our homes on a Saturday afternoon. Sadly, the trash emitted from Hollywood has now found its
way onto the playing field; so much so that I sometimes feel that baseball itself has become some kind of perverted
An in-depth look at the "Rooney Rule":
The NFL's Affirmative Action Deception.
Imagine an America in which employers faced steep fines for failing to interview a sufficient number of minority
candidates for a vacant management slot prior to making a hiring decision. Even in this day and age, where
diversity rules, that might seem a far-fetched scenario. Yet for the last half-dozen years, this has been
the way the National Football League has operated. And its advocates are seeking ways to expand this
regime to a variety of venues — and with a strong assist from government.
Team Name Draws Protests. Anti-bullying advocates are beating up on the name chosen for the new
professional basketball team in Syracuse, N.Y. The Syracuse Bullies will play in the American Basketball
Association beginning this fall.
Ballgame keepsake goes electronic.
The paper ticket might be on its way to joining AstroTurf and scheduled doubleheaders in the graveyard of sports
obsolescence. A host of professional teams, including the Washington Nationals, are introducing new systems
allowing fans to enter games using their cell phone, driver's license or similar means, potentially making paper
tickets a thing of the past.
Before Monday Night Game. Sports in America start with the national anthem.
The Dolphins-Steelers game was an exception. Rushing to begin the nationally televised
matchup following a 25- minute weather delay, the NFL chose to skip the anthem Monday night
[11/26/2007] before Miami played Pittsburgh. The game started without any of the
traditional pregame ceremonies, except the coin toss, and neither team was introduced
on the public address system.
NFL Steroids Dealer Found Dead.
A convicted steroids dealer who recently met with NFL security officials and gave them names of players he said
bought steroids from him has been found dead in his home. Just after midnight on Thursday, Plano police
made a welfare check and found 35-year-old David Jacobs and 30-year-old Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell dead.
Both had been shot.
America's Newest 'Victims':
There's a new class of victims in America: former NFL players. … There's no doubt that many
former players are physical wrecks. But should we feel sorry for them? After all, many
players reveled in the fact that they could punish their bodies week after week and continue to
play. Noticeably absent from this debate is any discussion about the personal responsibility
these players bear for their post-career conditions.
The TV Deal
the NBA Wishes It Had Not Made. Roughly once a month, the NBA cuts 31 checks to NBA teams as
revenue from its multibillion-dollar national television contract. There are only 30 NBA franchises, so
who gets the extra check? … Ozzie and Dan Silna, co-owners of the long-forgotten ABA team, the Spirits
of St. Louis. It ranks as one of the best sports deals in modern times, one that has paid the
Silnas about $168 million and continues to pay off.
The Gratingest Generation. Does it ever
occur to media chatterboxes that people watch tennis because they want to see tennis, not hear about some
celebrity's latest movie or TV series? If those who lived during World War II were "the greatest
generation," this must be the gratingest generation. It's not just the constant meaningless chatter
that grates. There is the incessant self-dramatization.
Bigotry and Sports:
Although not too many years ago, sports-writing was considered the "toy department" of journalism, the boys and
girls in the press box have been eager to catch up to their counterparts in the "real" world. And so, they
are also no longer content with merely reporting the scores, trades and what have you; they must now generate
the news. And, similar to the mainstream media, they need divisive issues in order to push the agenda of
all J-school graduates: to change the world.
Bills confiscate critical banners from
fans. Motivated by the failure of his Bills, season-ticket holder Mike Allenbaugh
carried a sign of protest to the final home game. But security forces took it away shortly before
kickoff Dec. 17. … "It's just ridiculous," he said this week. "I can go in there
and say, 'Go Bills.' Why can't I say, 'I don't like you as a manager?'"
Judge Calls NFL Coach's Home
"A Drug Emporium". A judge who sentenced Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's sons to jail on
Thursday [11/1/2007] likened the coach's home to "a drug emporium" and questioned whether his adult sons
should live there.
O'Neill noted that searches of the Reid home found illegal and prescription drugs
throughout the house. He said both boys had been overmedicated throughout much of their lives
MSNBGreen: "We have turned out
the lights in the studio," NBC's Bob Costas told viewers of Sunday's Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game,
"to kick off a week that will include more than 150 hours of programming designed to raise awareness
about environmental issues."
On a typical game day, a large football stadium burns about 65,000 kilowatt
hours of electricity and 35,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The cars driving to the game spew about 200
metric tons of CO2 (and that assumes nobody's driving SUVs or RVs, which is like assuming tailgaters are
eating only sushi). There's also the electricity used to broadcast the game and to watch it. But
thank goodness Costas turned off the studio lights for a minute or two.
Post Toughens Redskins Coverage; Team Yanks Newspaper's 267 Season Tickets. For
many Washingtonians, a season ticket to Washington Redskins games is almost as
valuable as a place at a White House dinner. This week the Redskins cut the number
of season tickets held by the Washington Post from 279 to 12.
Cut Above: Why wait for an injury? The next-generation performance
enhancer is elective surgery.
bid to buy the entire NHL. An investment firm and a sports advisory
company reportedly made a joint proposal to buy all 30 NHL teams for as much as $3.5 billion.
from the NFL. Neither the Vikings nor the NFL could have been surprised by
[Randy] Moss' misbehavior. "An assault charge had cost him time in jail and a
Notre Dame scholarship," Newsweek noted in a profile two seasons ago. "A drug
offense sent him back to jail and off the Florida State team."
Should Governments Own Convention
Centers? Government-subsidized convention centers are chronic money losers.
Survey of Football Injury Research: Some football fatalities result directly
from participation in the fundamental skills of football; others are caused by systemic
failure as a result of exertion, e.g., asthma, heat stroke, and heart problems.
more banks are placing their names on ball parks and arenas. Banks
are warming up to the idea of paying for the national exposure that only
professional sports teams can offer. And several major league baseball teams that
have seen attendance drop and revenues fall in recent years, have been spreading
out the welcome mat to banks willing to put up some dough.
Non-athletic corporate welfare:
CEO Makes the Case Against Corporate
Welfare. With nearly 100 stores in 18 states, Gander Mountain is the nation's third-largest
outdoors retailer. Unlike its two larger competitors, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, Gander Mountain has
achieved impressive growth without seeking targeted tax incentives from state or local governments. In
this interview, Gander's chief executive, Mark Baker, tells us why he believes government officials should
oppose retail tax incentives.
Costco's Corporate Welfare:
Tracking published reports on the abuse of eminent domain, one finds Costco is the leading beneficiary of this
kind of corporate welfare, having taken government-confiscated land three times more often then its next rival.
Don't spend millions for billionaires. King
County is building a $36 million sewage treatment and irrigation plant in Redmond, but so far the only
private customer is the Willows Run Golf Course, owned by multi-billionaire Paul Allen and his brother-in-law.
Airport Privatization in the U.S.:
With all of the furor in the recent past over airport security, one fact has gotten lost in the shuffle:
All 10 of the busiest airports in the U.S. are owned and operated by municipalities. Public ownership
and operation of airports is often taken for granted, but that doesn't mean it's best. Public ownership
and operation — which brings a political dimension to hiring and operations — may result
in increased operating costs and other inefficiencies.
Fans Want to Watch Sports, Not Hollywood
Gimmicks. The idea that sports are not enough for sports fans seems to have been behind the fiasco
of putting Dennis Miller's silly chatter on Monday Night Football. Fortunately, the producers of that
program finally got the message that football fans want football. How long will it take producers of
Wrong with Players on Steroids? So athletes use steroids to perform
better. Wall Street traders take Ritalin and everyone uses caffeinated drinks
during work to stay alert. News anchors get face lifts and actors take
Botox so more people watch them. What's different about athletes?
Hey, it wasn't
my fault. Rafael Palmeiro, the Baltimore Orioles star, told Congress that
he had absolutely, positively never used steroids, but then he failed a urine test. So
last week, he repeated his never-ever statement but inserted a new word: He never
intentionally used them. He said: "I am sure you will ask how I tested positively
for a banned substance. As I look back, I don't have a specific answer to give. I
wasn't able to explain how the banned substance entered my body."
of Sport and State? The Imperial Federal Government is once again sticking their
collective noses in places where they do not belong. The House Committee on Government
Reform is scheduled to hold hearings next week on steroids in baseball. They have "formally
requested" the presence of some of baseball's past and present stars and have threatened to
use their subpoena power for others if they do not cooperate willingly.
and kids. Distributing steroids carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison
and $250,000 for the first felony offense. So, why are there no prosecuted athletes?
of ESPN. America is a lot richer than it was [when ESPN began] in 1979,
but not that much richer. Something else is afoot, turning so many
eyes — that is what pulls the tide of money — to sports. Perhaps
people are drawn to sports because they really don't mean a thing.
The great halftime
threat: Are we really so starved for entertainment that we can't go a few moments without
some no-talent has-been fresh out of rehab banging out an alleged song that you've already heard too many
times through your car window at the nearest intersection? ... Halftime has morphed into a monster that
overshadows the game.
Super Bowl Host Is the Poorest Big
City in the US. Before the Super Bowl kickoff this weekend, private planes will land here,
limousines will clog the streets, and lavish parties will be thrown for those with famous names or lots
of money. The kitchens of Ford Field will be stocked with two tons of lobster. Much of the
rest of Detroit, though, is a landscape dotted with burned-out buildings, where liquor stores abound but
supermarkets are hard to come by, and where drugs, violence and unemployment are everyday realities.
[In other words, hosting the Super Bowl does not provide an automatic boost to the
local economy. Only a handful of people benefit from it. The same is true
when a new stadium is built.]
Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl. For years, as many as 200 members of
Immanuel Bible Church and their friends have gathered in the church's fellowship hall to watch the Super
Bowl on its six-foot screen. ... But this year, Immanuel's Super Bowl party is no more. After a crackdown
by the National Football League on big-screen Super Bowl gatherings by churches, the Springfield church
has sacked its event. Instead, church members will host parties in their homes. Immanuel is
among a number of churches in the Washington area and elsewhere that have been forced to use a new
playbook to satisfy the NFL, which said that airing games at churches on large-screen TV sets
violates the NFL copyright. Ministers are not happy.
The Editor says...
If the church has a cover charge, I can see how the NFL would have a case. But as long as there
is no charge for attendance (even for food, presumably) it's not a commercial use of the telecast,
and the NFL lawyers would have to do some smooth talking to get that one past a jury. On the
other hand, what kind of church condones the Super Bowl halftime bump-and-grind show?
$400 for a Day at the Ballpark?
"Only the Yankees would think a $1,200 ticket is affordable and a $2,500 ticket isn't." That was the
reaction of New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat and vocal opponent of the team's new stadium,
upon learning that the Yankees were cutting the price of premium seats in hopes of filling empty rows near the
This isn't a stadium, but it's not too far off-topic:
Durbin Wants Illinois Taxpayers to Help Fund Obama's Presidential Library. Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) is
urging the State of Illinois to put in seed money for the creation of a Obama Presidential library in Chicago.
"It's going to have a long-term positive economic impact and this is where it ought to be," Durbin told reporters last
week. "I believe an investment in this library by the State of Illinois will pay back in terms of visitors to our
state, more business, more jobs and people paying taxes." Durbin did not go as far a endorsing a bill in the Illinois
legislature that calls for up to $100 million in state seed money to create the Obama Presidential library.
identified for New York's Obama library bid. Columbia University in New York City
will make a bid to build the Obama presidential library on its Manhattanville campus in West
Harlem, where the structure would be a cornerstone of the university's $6.3 billion expansion into
the economically depressed neighborhood, a university source confirmed. The source said that the
university planned to vigorously pursue the library as part the campus expansion at 130th Street
and Broadway. President Barack Obama earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia in 1983.
The Editor goes way off-topic:
How does the writer of this article know that Obama graduated from Columbia? Where are Obama's transcripts?
America's bread and circus society. With many, sports are not just a
hobby; they are a religion. I cannot count the number of conversations between men that I overhear in restaurants, airplanes, boardrooms,
and, yes, even church houses, in which every man in the circle is literally consumed with all sorts of sports facts, information, and opinions.
In many such discussions, these men will talk about nothing else. To these men, there is absolutely nothing in the world more important than
the latest sports score, announcement, or trade.
Football Is the New Smoking. This morning, fat
kids across America ran wind sprints until they vomited, drove sleds like beasts until muscle collapse, and alternated between jogging in place
and hitting the deck so frequently that it jarred even the insides of onlookers. And they do it all again this afternoon. This
isn't a federal anti-obesity initiative. It's football.
Surprise! Arts Center Predictions
Flawed. The Washington Post reports that the financial projections for a government-funded arts center,
Artisphere, in Arlington, Virginia, don't seem to have panned out. Do they ever? ... And yet millionaire
owners and mayors with Edifice Complexes keep commissioning these studies, and council members and editorial
boards keep falling for them.
City-owned Hilton Baltimore lost $11.5 million last year.
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore lost nearly $11.5 million in 2011 — about $400,000 more than it lost the previous year, according to a recently
released audit. In addition to losing money last year, the hotel dipped into its reserves in February to make payments on its debt service. The
Baltimore Hotel Corp., created in 2005 to oversee the hotel's operations, withdrew nearly $4 million from its $12.4 million of debt-service reserve
accounts to make a semi-annual bond payment in March.
Voters Overwhelmingly Reject 'Incentive' for Hotel Developer. Voters in Wichita, Kansas have trounced a
proposed $2.25 million tax rebate for a hotel development that had the support of the Wichita City Council and the
Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. Despite the urgings of city leaders, the tax rebate proposal lost by 61-38 percent
in the Feb. 28 special election. Opposition came from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the newly
formed citizen-activist organization Wichitans for Tax Fairness.
The NCAA's battle against politically incorrect mascot names:
Apparently even the most oblique reference to Indians is perceived as hostile and abusive by the NCAA.
Someday soon, even the word "Indian" will probably be taboo.
The NCAA Political Correctness Witch Hunt.
Now in its seventh year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's battle with the University of North Dakota may be reaching a final
conclusion. In 2005, the NCAA announced a complete ban on hosting post-season competition by 18 colleges that were using Native
American mascots, logos, or nicknames. The ban was to become effective in February 2006. The college sports governing body
backed off its strident demand regarding some schools after learning that Native American groups endorsed use of their tribal names by
their adoptive schools.
Voters In N.D. Reject Fighting Sioux
Mascot. In yet another victory for the forces of politically correct insanity, voters in North Dakota voted to dump the mascot of the
University of North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux are no more. According to the Bismarck Tribune, more than 67 percent of voters
approved of Measure 4, a ballot initiative that ended the long struggle between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its supporters,
on the one hand, and those who love and revere the formidable-looking Indian logo the school has used for many moons. Backers of the logo vow to
banning Native American mascots. Oregon's Board of Education on Thursday [3/8/2012] took up [Che] Butler's
plea for the second time, rejoining a longstanding national debate about racial tolerance and school traditions five
years after issuing a nonbinding recommendation that schools stop using Native American regalia.
sues NCAA to let school use name. The Spirit Lake tribe Tuesday sued the NCAA for blocking its
attempt to let the University of North Dakota use the sports nickname Fighting Sioux.
Dakota to give up attempts to keep Fighting Sioux logo. The end may finally be near for the
University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. After a six-year battle, the state appears
ready to declare defeat and retire the nickname, which was deemed unacceptable by the NCAA in 2005. The
Fighting Sioux has been associated with the university's athletic teams since 1930. State Sen. Lonnie
Laffen, a Republican who voted earlier this year to codify the nickname into law, recently told the Grand Forks
Herald that he will sponsor legislation to shift authority over the issue to the State Board of Higher Education.
ND House votes to keep UND Fighting Sioux nickname,
logo. The North Dakota House has voted to keep the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux
nickname and logo. On a 65-28 vote, the House approved House Bill 1263, which states University of
North Dakota athletic teams shall be known as the Fighting Sioux. Neither UND nor the state Board of
Higher Education may take action to discontinue the use of the nickname or logo.
Sioux on warpath over nickname. When North Dakota's state board of higher education voted to
phase out the "Fighting Sioux" last year, that seemed to signal the end of the lengthy battle over the
University of North Dakota's nickname and logo. Except that it didn't. Two Fighting Sioux
supporters have since launched Save Our Suhaki, a tongue-in-cheek campaign ostensibly aimed at preserving the
suhaki, a Russian antelope whose name is pronounced exactly like "Sioux hockey."
Wisconsin law lets
residents challenge race-based mascots. The homecoming pep rally Friday at Kewaunee High School
will have extra drama this year: Everyone in town will learn whether they'll be rooting for the River
Bandits or the Storm to beat the Valders Vikings in the big football game.
Dakota decisions end Fighting Sioux nickname. A state Supreme Court ruling and a Board of
Higher Education decision have retired for good the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux nickname
after a four-year legal battle.
near for Fighting Sioux mascot? The end of the Fighting Sioux could be near as the University
of North Dakota appears ready to abandon its mascot over calls of racism despite a petition drive by local
tribe members to preserve the school's nickname and logo. Supporters from the Standing Rock Sioux want
to collect at least 600 signatures before the next tribal council meeting in March.
Ole Miss students to vote on new mascot;
Colonel Reb not an option. University of Mississippi students will vote this month on creating a new
Chancellor Supports Retiring 'Fighting Sioux'
Logo That Threatens Hockey Arena. Bill Goetz, North Dakota's university system chancellor, said
Thursday [11/15/2007] at a Board of Higher Education meeting he will support retiring University of North
Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" logo and nickname in less than three years if the school and Sioux tribes cannot
agree to keep it.
wants sealed court documents. The NCAA will ask a Grand Forks Circuit Court judge on Wednesday
[3/7/2007] to shield documents from public view in its court case against UND over the Fighting Sioux
nickname. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said most of the documents the NCAA wants
concealed from the public have to do with discussions among the association's Executive Committee while
drafting its 2006 policy on American Indian nicknames and imagery.
Wisconsin may fine
schools $1,000 a day for Indian mascots. Democratic lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require
the state to investigate complaints about American Indian mascots in Wisconsin schools. If the complaints are
justified, the state Department of Public Instruction would have to order the school to drop the mascot or logo within
a year or face fines of up to $1,000 a day.
Chief Illiniwek performs last dance. After 20 years of pressure from activists who found
the University of Illinois mascot offensive, the school did away with Illiniwek and his antics. Dan
Maloney, a graduate student who portrays the controversial American Indian mascot, performed for the final
time in front of students and fans at a men's basketball game Wednesday night [2/21/2007].
Thoughts on the Chief Debacle. It's bad enough that Chief Illiniwek has danced his last
dance. That fact visibly slammed sorrow into the hearts of thousands of faithful Illini on Wednesday
night as men, women, and children hung their heads and even shed their tears. If the fight to retire
the Chief by so-called "oppressed" minorities and hypersensitive leftists is about retribution and vengeance,
then they got what they wanted. But the story unfolding in the aftermath of the Chief's departure is
larger than our beloved tradition.
North Dakota to sue NCAA over mascot
ruling. The University of North Dakota plans to sue the NCAA to avoid penalties for using
the school's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian head logo, which the association considers demeaning to
will drop the feathers from its athetics logo. William and Mary will drop the feathers from its
athetics logo to comply with the NCAA's request, the school announced Tuesday [10/10/2006]. The phase-out
process will begin during the 2007-08 school year. The NCAA in 2004 identified W&M, whose nickname is
the "Tribe," as a school with a logo or nickname that could be viewed as "hostile and abusive" in relation to
schools defend use of tribal-themed mascots. Educators from small-town Oregon came to the
capital Tuesday [10/23/2007] to argue that their high schools should remain the Indians, Warriors and
Braves as a respectful way to honor Native American culture and history. Fourteen superintendents and
principals from Amity to Warrenton spoke forcefully at a state Department of Education meeting against a
proposal to ban their Native American mascots.
Name blame by the NCAA is just so
lame. The NCAA hates — and has vowed to crush — any school with a sports
nickname that doesn't measure up to politically correct standards. … The NCAA considers
Fighting Illini, Fighting Sioux and Indians hostile and abusive. Worse yet, those names
are "inconsistent with the NCAA commitment to diversity, respect and sportsmanship," the
organization said in a news release.
NCAA says Newberry agrees to drop
Indians nickname. Newberry College has agreed to drop its "Indians" nickname and has been taken
off the list of schools facing postseason bans because of hostile or abusive logos and mascots. The
school was taken off the list Friday [11/10/2006] after it told the governing body about the planned change,
NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Sunday.
Those fighting Sioux nickname lose sight of most
Indian views. Never mind that a well-known Indian artist designed the UND logo of a proud Sioux
warrior. Never mind that this image resembles the stately Indian on U.S. "buffalo" nickels, and on North
Dakota's highway patrol cars and highway signs. Never mind that sports teams choose names that symbolize
what they honor — courage on the battlefield — not what they mock or despise. The
forces of political correctness have embraced this latest victim-creating issue and won't
let it go.
Nickname debate gains steam before NCAA
appeal. The nickname debate is heating up at the University of North Dakota, just days before
the NCAA plans to hear an appeal of the school's Fighting Sioux logo. The NCAA has listed UND among
schools with nicknames or mascots deemed "hostile or abusive," barring those colleges from holding postseason
games unless they get rid of the Indian imagery. Some schools, including Florida State, have won appeals.
Three Appeals on Indian Mascots. The NCAA's executive committee on Friday [4/28/2006] rejected
appeals by Illinois, North Dakota and Indiana University of Pennsylvania to continue using Indian nicknames,
mascots and imagery deemed "hostile" and "abusive" at NCAA championship events. The committee also
placed Bradley on a watch list for five years, the first school in the nation to earn that
distinction. Friday's actions leave seven of the original 18 schools on the offenders list.
loses its mascot appeal to NCAA. The NCAA on Thursday [10/20/2005] denied Bradley University's
appeal of its inclusion on a list of schools with banned Native American mascots, saying the nickname Braves
"leads to a hostile or abusive environment." It was the first decision on an appeal from a school
without a namesake tribe from which it could cite support.
If the term "Braves" really is abusive and so universally offensive, why didn't the NCAA take action
twenty or thirty years ago? The answer is
simple: Political Correctness is
their motivation. The NCAA isn't acting out of generosity toward the Indian
tribes; on the contrary, it is responding to the threat of civil litigation from America's
over-abundance of lawyers.
The PC NCAA: Now
that the NCAA has banned the use of Native American nicknames and mascots during tournament competition,
it's time to make sure all other offensive nicknames and mascots are likewise eliminated.
Chief among the
silliness. Censorship — e.g., campus speech codes — often are academic
liberalism's preferred instrument of social improvement, and now the NCAA's censors say: The [University of Illinois] Chief
must go, as must the university's logo of a Native American in feathered headdress. Otherwise the
NCAA will not allow the university to host any postseason tournaments or events.
NCAA rejects Illinois' appeal of
mascot ban. Illinois lost its appeal of the ban on the university mascot
Friday [11/11/2005] and will remain on a list of schools prohibited from hosting NCAA
postseason events after February. The NCAA will allow Illinois to keep its "Illini"
and "Fighting Illini" nicknames. The university contended those nicknames derived
from the name of the state.
NCAA denies UND's appeal over
Fighting Sioux nickname, logo. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has denied
an appeal by the University of North Dakota asking that it be removed from a list of schools subject
to restrictions because they have American Indian nicknames, mascots or images.
Playing politics and
Indians. The National Collegiate Athletic Association passed a new rule saying
college teams with Indian names and mascots cannot participate in NCAA championship events. "We
believe hostile or abusive nicknames are troubling to us and it can't continue," said Walter Harrison,
the NCAA committee chairman. "We're trying to send a message, very strongly, saying that these
mascots are not appropriate for NCAA championships." Hmmm? Teams can still have Indian
mascots, but only if they're not going to be champions. That's the silent bigotry
of low expectations!
Attack of the
Nannies. Polls keep showing that American Indians aren't really offended
by college team nicknames such as warriors, braves, Indians, Seminoles, and Fighting
Illini. But many sportswriters, campus "diversity" officials, and now the National
Collegiate Athletic Association think they ought to be. So the NCAA says it will ban
from championship play all college teams with "hostile or abusive" nicknames and
mascots. It apparently took this action without consulting tribal leaders.
The NCAA's nickname
ban: I cannot conceive of a college with an Indian nickname that has hostile
intent. Most colleges using these nicknames and logos do so in admiration of the
indigenes' spirit. What seems at play is the left-wing campus orthodoxy searching
for some offense against a designated victim group or subculture.
Offend Indians. Offend The Evil White Man! The NCAA is now attempting to tell
member colleges that use of mascots and symbols they deem "offensive" to American Indians are to
be banned from post season play. That means teams like the Florida State Seminoles, and other
mainstays of post season college football bowl games would be denied the chance to
compete if they refused to cover up or change their logos and names.
College team names are
harmless compared to the NCAA. Athletics and sports in America are
fueling destructive obsessions. The inordinate wealth and celebrity garnered
by professional athletes is converting many youth sports leagues into training mills
that initiate career tracks for aspiring child athletes. Such hopes have helped
to birth an industry of training gadgets, sports schools, and instructional books and
video tapes. The desire for athletes to cash in on their talents has driven demand
for chemicals that supposedly enhance strength and agility.
Indian Mascot Under Fire in North Carolina. The University of
North Carolina-Pembroke is fighting a request from the National Collegiate
Athletic Association to dump its "Braves" nickname and logo.
put twist on mascots: Indian students in Colorado have
turned the tables in a debate on racism by naming their intramural
basketball team "The Fighting Whities."
And it's not just the NCAA ...
joins battle over Fighting Sioux logo. The most prominent defenders of the University of North
Dakota's right to call its teams the Fighting Sioux are neither alumni nor hockey fans. They're Sioux.
A group of Spirit Lake Sioux won a temporary restraining order last week to stop the North Dakota University
System from retiring the nickname and logo, one of the last in the country associated with an American
Lakes considering a change to logo, but Ramapoughs say not so fast. The Washington
Redskins have stuck with their name and logo for years, despite ardent and escalating protests by
Native American organizations and their supporters. Even the U.S. Patent Office weighed in this
year, calling the logo "disparaging." Now, Franklin Lakes is thinking about changing its own
longstanding depiction of a Native American on its letterhead, business cards, vehicles and website.
But this time, it's the Ram — a — pough Lenape Nation — the
closest tribe to the borough — that is objecting.
Americans, others protest Indians' logo. As excited baseball fans, many of them wearing Cleveland's
smiling Chief Wahoo logo, headed into Progressive Field for Friday's home opener, a smaller group stood by unable
to share their enthusiasm.
college drops 'Crusaders' nickname from its sports teams so it doesn't offend 'global society'. A Wisconsin Christian university is
dropping the word 'Crusaders' from its sports teams, saying the word doesn't fit with a 'more global society.' The Maranatha Baptist
University in Watertown and its sports teams have used the name since the college's founding in 1968. The decision coincides with a
recent name change, from Maranatha Baptist Bible College to Maranatha Baptist University.
In Wisconsin, Big Chief Walker signs
new Indian mascot bill. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an Indian mascot bill on Thursday that will make it harder for politically
correct meddlers to force public schools around the state to change their mascots, logos and team names.
Walker Signs Bill Making it Harder to Change Native American Mascots. As pressure mounts from activists nationwide on schools
that use Native American mascots for their sports teams, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation last week that would make it harder
for Wisconsin public schools to change their name.
Houston school board votes to ban
"offensive" mascots. The Houston school district board has given preliminary approval to a new policy that would prohibit offensive
or culturally insensitive mascots.
Chief Wahoo Gets Cut from Memorial Day Cleveland Indians
Cap. Major League Baseball pulled the plug on a Cleveland Indians cap that caused some controversy
last year. MLB started producing a line of "Stars and Stripes" baseball caps but many thought that Chief
Wahoo adorning Old Glories red, white, and blue was out of bounds.
Braves strike out in
Richmond. The United Methodist Church has rejected Richmond for its 2012 international
conference because the city's minor league baseball team is named the Braves. "Many Native
Americans, if you ask them what they think about team mascots, will tell you that they find [them] to
be demeaning," said Stephen Drachler, a spokesman for the United Methodist Church. Apparently,
nobody asked Virginia's Monacan Nation, located near Lynchburg about 130 miles west of
Richmond. Kenneth Branham, Monacan chief, yesterday said, "The mascot thing has been
blown out of proportion."
Spirit Lake voters overwhelmingly support Fighting
Sioux nickname. Spirit Lake voters apparently overwhelmingly support UND's Fighting Sioux nickname in a
referendum Tuesday [4/21/2009].
Complaints and tradition mark
high school mascot struggle. While efforts to remove American Indian themed mascots from college
campuses continue to command a high profile, quieter struggles are ongoing in high schools, where the response
is just as mixed. Some schools, citing tradition, are resisting and insist their use is a sign of
respect even if Indian advocates disagree.
NCAA won't expand
Confederate flag ban. Wofford athletic director Richard Johnson wasn't sure what to think
last summer when the NCAA agreed to hear a request to expand its ban on South Carolina because of the
Confederate flag. … Enhancing the ban to include championships awarded on merit — like football
playoffs and baseball regionals — would've seriously hurt Wofford's chances of advancing in
Pork Chop, the mascot's new name is Ferrous. A handful of complaints from [Guillermo] Lopez and others, as well
as a steamed online community, prompted team officials to change the name of the mascot for the Triple A affiliate of
the Philadelphia Phillies to Ferrous. Team officials announced the switch midday Monday [12/3/2007].
Context of mascot's
name made it inoffensive. Five-year-old Kylie Shimkus of Easton thought it up, entered a contest and won. The
Lehigh Valley IronPigs had a name for their mascot, and it seemed like a darn good one: PorkChop. The name became official
Sunday. Monday, it was gone. Members of the area's Puerto Rican community protested the name as a common racial slur.
The IronPigs quickly changed it to Ferrous, a name which emphasizes the iron, not the pig. Was this necessary?
The effect is spreading to other fields as well:
'Squaw' still Utah moniker.
In 2008 alone, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names has renamed 22 geographic features to eliminate the word
"squaw" from locations throughout Arizona, Maine, Montana, South Dakota and Washington. The board's
actions effectively approve revision of federal maps and documents to reflect the areas' new names. The
term squaw is considered highly offensive by many American Indians.
PETA Asks PBAU To Change Mascot Name.
The animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking Palm Beach Atlantic
University to change the name of its athletic mascot. In a letter sent Wednesday [1/14/2009] to PBAU
President Dr. David Clark, PETA urged the school to change its mascot from the Sailfish to Sea Kitten "to
reflect the gentle nature of its current marine namesake."
Board advocates dumping UND nickname, logo.
North Dakota's Board of Higher Education has agreed to drop the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux
nickname and Indian head logo, a move intended to resolve a decades-long campus dispute about whether the name
demeans American Indians.
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