SBD/15/Facilities Venues

SI EXAMINES THE CONTINUING TREND OF HOLDING CITIES HOSTAGE

     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).
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