Zombie Teams and Zombie Owners

This chapter explains the harsh reality of how professional sport team owners are crying poor and asking for public subsidies in order to pay for team costs. Teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Miami Marlins, and the Dallas Cowboys were all examples of how team owners were seeking public wealth to build stadiums.

Owners of professional sport franchises are either millionaires or billionaires that have significant amounts of money to give to stadium projects. Examples, such as the Miami Marlins, revealed that the new stadium that was built will cost the public two billion dollars over the next forty years. Another example that was used was Jerry Jones in Dallas, who said he just spent a billion dollars on a new stadium, but he was actually given a cheque by Arlington taxpayers for $325 million. Owners such as Frank McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers was using his team like a piggybank, where he eventually went bankrupt – he couldn’t even make his organization’s payroll. All the examples above show that owners are putting fans last and only thinking about themselves. They will do anything in their power to increase their own profitability

The Dodgers/McCourt example was also used to explain the disconnection of a MLB fan base. For years, the Dodgers were a proud franchise with excellent attendance numbers. Now, the Dodgers are almost a humiliation to the league.

The Green Bay Packers model – a publicly owned franchise – was suggested to be a better option, instead of these billionaire owners. Fans become the owners, which offer a great connection to the team and city.

Sports use to bring families and communities together. Instead, families and fans are provided with the image of billion dollar stadiums, which they will never get to visit because of the significant cost.

I am appalled to see billionaire owners asking for millions or billions of dollars for a stadium that may not help a city economically. Owners express how building a new stadium will bring money to the city and open up new jobs for people, but does it really help? These jobs that are created are underpaid, minimum wage jobs, where people work just to get by. Building a stadium also requires land, which means communities and houses are demolished and that land becomes a brand new, state-of-the-art piece building for people to look at as they travel down the highway. Instead of crying poor and asking for public subsidies, these owners should be giving back to the community and spreading wealth to areas that are in dire need.

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