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SI EXAMINES THE CONTINUING TREND OF HOLDING CITIES HOSTAGE
Published June 15, 1995
In the current issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Tim Crothers examines the plight of the Devils and their possible move to Nashville along with "at least 38 other franchises across North America" who are "the latest victims" of owners trying to "blackmail communities" into new stadiums. Among the cities mentioned as being manipulated by "plutocratic extortioners": Cincinnati, Seattle and San Diego. Crothers, on Al Davis -- "the patron saint of stadium extortion": "For a few dozen skyboxes Davis would pledge a move to Mogadishu." Crothers writes, "What's going on here? Well, in recent years, the owners of pro sports franchises have discovered that one way money can most readily be saved and earned is with sweetheart stadium deals." Crothers reports that at least 14 NFL teams "are seeking new stadiums, better leases or major renovations." However, Crothers notes that "several economists, including Stanford's Roger Noll and Lake Forest [IL] College's Robert Baade, point out that the $200 million sunk into a stadium could be spent on an industrial park that would generate many more jobs and much more revenue than a new ballpark would." Crothers concludes, "Unfortunately, when business intersects with sports these days, reason often seems to fly out the window" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 6/19 issue).