Cities held hostage by sports owners?

June 30, 2022 0 Comments

I usually only care about baseball as it relates to young players, coaches and parents. I leave the bigger philosophical questions to the big guys like ESPN and the like.

I admit that I am as guilty as anyone else of only paying attention to what concerns my hometown MLB team, my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, but reading an article about the Miami Marlins and their treatment of their fans it made my blood boil. .

I’m not here to blame or take sides because I don’t have the facts, but the question I want to ask is, “Do professional sports teams hold cities hostage?”

When a city, meaning the taxpayer, agrees to pay the stadium bill for a professional sports team, regardless of the sport, do the team owners become city partners or city masters?

Professional sports will claim that they are a private company and can do whatever they want with the team, including moving to another city or stripping the team of its best players and the city has no legal rights to protest.

Now, I am not a business genius and I know that private companies of all kinds negotiate tax benefits and certain commitments from the cities regarding sewers, streets, etc. just one office with two employees and leaving the rest of the complex vacant.

Worse, they don’t come back to the city three years later and demand that the city pay for the building’s renovation or else the company will move to another city and leave the city stuck with a vacant building and a huge financial burden. .

I hope you are reading this and thinking “How absurd is this scenario”, but this is exactly what professional sports teams do. The midnight move of the Colts to Indianapolis from Baltimore, Houston to Tennessee, the Rams to St. Louis and I could go on and on.

Speaking of the Rams, they have been successful in their demands that St. Louis foot the bill for a $700 million renovation of their stadium or the construction of a new stadium. Granted, the Rams gave fans thrills, including a Super Bowl trophy, but that was under different ownership.

The current owner has a less than spectacular record of fielding an NFL-caliber team, but is holding the city hostage for an absorbing ransom with the threat of leaving town.

Professional sports leagues are monopolized. “Whip sawing,” which is the act of pitting one entity against another, to get the best deal for them, in this case one city against another, is the only private business action that leagues and businesses have in common.

Cities, which really mean real life people from the community, who work their asses off every day for a living and pay for these palaces through their taxes, deserve better than being treated like serfs. If MLB and the NFL specifically don’t change their grandiose opinion of themselves regarding people, then like AT&T and other monopolies, they should split up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *