Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Pro Sports Two-Step: Seduce, Threaten to Abandon

Link to September 8 New York Times article, "As Stadiums Vanish, Their Debt Lives On".

Excerpt:  How municipalities acquire so much debt on buildings that have been torn down or are underused illustrates the excesses of publicly financed stadiums and the almost mystical sway professional sports teams have over politicians, voters and fans.

Rather than confront teams, they have often buckled when owners — usually threatening to move — have demanded that the public pay for new suites, parking or arenas and stadiums.

With state and local budgets stretched by the recession, politicians are only now starting to look askance at privately held teams trying to tap the public till

They may be looking askance, but they're still caving.

And here's Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's circular logic.

Speaking of Vegas.....

Seventeen full-time and two part-time employees of the city of Las Vegas will be notified in the next couple of days that they're out — they no longer have jobs with the city as of Jan. 29.

That's the most drastic of actions being taken by the city to deal with an expected budget shortfall of about $430 million during the next five years, City Manager Betsy Fretwell told the Las Vegas City Council this evening.

It must be the sun and heat.

The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday approved $7.1 million for the exhibits that will go into the downtown mob museum, which is expected to be open in less than a year. (7/7/2010)


Anonymous said...

We are certainly visited more, but we also don't charge $60-$500/ticket, nor do we sell beer, hotdogs, etc. nor do we sell t-shirts, caps, etc., nor do we generate hotel stays. I see your point, and while we generate revenue for city businesses, we do it much more quietly and probably in a much lesser quantity. We know it's about a $4 return on investment. It would be interesting to see what the return on investment is on stadium investments? I can see why politicians still cave.

Brian Simons

Gerard said...

As if Las Vegas will ever get a professional sports league willing to locate there.