The 30 Truest Words Ever Written About Sports

I’ve got a simple statement that needs to be chiseled in stone on the steps of every state legislature (and possibly the skull of many governors).   You might want to write this down for future generations because it’s true and habitually ignored:

It is not now, nor has it ever been, the legitimate business of any branch of the United States Government to build sports arenas for the benefit of private owners.

Governments have legitimate duties; maintaining borders, negotiating treaties, defense in times of war, etc…  Stadiums for private entities are not among those duties.

I know. I’ve heard it all. It’s good for the community, multiplier factor, go team, role models for children, makes the community better, blah blah blah. I don’t care.

Even if you were born with you favorite team’s name tattooed on your ass it doesn’t matter.  I don’t care if your  team is so awesome they can levitate the ball through the hoop using force of will.  I don’t care if they cure cancer at halftime.  I don’t care if the new stadium shits a truckload of solid gold for the treasury.

Profitability doesn’t make wrong into right.  Popularity does not make wrong into right.  Using the force of government to build a toy for a private franchise owner is immoral, it’s wrong, and it’s not the proper role of the government.

If you want an arena, build one.  You can build it any time you can afford it.  That’s freedom.

If you can’t afford it, band together with other folks and form an organization called a business, sell stock or your soul or whatever you need to and invest in the construction.  Sell tickets and get filthy stinking rich.  That’s capitalism.

If you can’t afford to pay for it you can’t own it.  If a business can’t afford to pay for it they can’t own it.  That’s life.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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7 Responses to The 30 Truest Words Ever Written About Sports

  1. Suz says:

    It seems so obvious when you say it like that. ;)

  2. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    The only Pro Sports team in the entire country (that I know of, anyway) that has a reasonable ownership arrangement is the Green Bay Packers. And interestingly, back when the old Redskins owner died I was living in the DC area and hears a rumor that a consortium of businessmen had tried to set up a similar situation for that team ….. and the NFL had said that they would never allow another non-profit owner, because of the trouble they had pushing the Green Bay company (or whatever it is) around.

  3. Can I get an “Amen”…

  4. Someone mentioned the Roman Coliseum as a historical precedent. This does not apply.

    I pointed out that the gladiators, victims, and lions we’re all State “employees” of one sort or another. No private franchises were the main beneficiaries of tax largess. Also it was a dictatorial slave owning oligarchy and the Coliseum served about 400 years longer than the average for American football stadiums. (They don’t make ‘em like they used to!)

    Since the State took got all the money in exchange for taking all the risk I declare that sending gladiators against lions in the Coliseum was morally superior to abominations like “Invesco Field At Mile High”. (Or as I like to say it “tax dollars from schmucks to stroke John Elway’s memory”.)

    Frankly there’s merit to the Coliseum. I think senators versus lions might make a fine show. Ticket sales might balance the budget. You don’t even need lions. Have you seen the physique of politicians? I’m pretty sure six squirrels and a houseplant could overpower Barney Frank. I’d pay good money to see that!

  5. Tam says:

    The pavement on Indy’s streets is so bad that all four wheels on the Zed Drei have now lost their little glued-on plastic roundels from the center.

    But we’ve got a swell new retractable-roof stadium in which to store our Peyton Manning.

  6. Doctor Mingo says:

    They built a new stadium in Denver after the Broncos won their second Superbowl. The Broncos owner, Pat Bowlen, threatened to move the team if they didn’t get a new stadium (which was a bluff because there is no way the NFL would have let him move the team). The new stadium sales tax (.1 percent) was placed on the ballot which included all of the suburbs around Denver in the tax base. All of the suburbs voted on it One city, Boulder, Colorado, voted 80% against but to no avail the measure passed due to the large population for the stadium in the other suburbs. Boulder isn’t technically a suburb of Denver. The new stadium had more luxury boxes but only 2 extra seats for the regular public. A good buy for only 364.2 million. Upon completion of the stadium the City of Denver decided to sell the naming rights. The people in the Denver area were pretty proud of the name “Mile High” but the city sold the naming rights with out the consent of the voters to Invesco for 120 million. Bowlen got 50% of the naming rights money and the city got the other 50%. However, Bowlen only invested 25% of the money to build it.
    Invesco Field now hosts 2 sports team , concerts and other events. The City of Denver reaps the tax revenue generated by all the local businesses in and around Invesco and the surburbs pound sand.

    • The Denver stadium was a world class screw job and they didn’t even respect you in the morning.

      Also pooling districts is often bad news. Not entirely unlike Gerrymandering. A suburb votes against a tax but wind up paying it anyway? What was the point of the vote? Votes should never be irrelevant. It’s corrosive to democracy and all around bad form.

      I find it particularly galling to see corruption for purposes as mundane as throwing an oblong ball in a rectangular field for entertainment. Hardly a matter of life or death.

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