Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Preying on the taxpayers

Yesterday, Fox Sports had an interesting column about the "division rival" Nashville Predators. Turns out that Nashville might be well on its way to kick out the Preds. Apparently, current Predators owner Craig Leipold is going to be asking for $2 million from Nashville taxpayers if attendance doesn't increase by 25%! Not only this...the $2 mil will go toward moving the team, what a low blow!

I can and do see situations where teams will ask cities to help out with costs surrounding an arena, ballpark or stadium, and often times a city will help build a facility because of added revenue it can provide to the city. Columbus doesn't really provide a good example due to that whole John H McConnell thing, but look at an event like the 2007 entry draft this summer, where there will be people from all over the US, Canada, and Europe. The draw is not only huge, but these people will need a place to stay, they need to eat, and as most people do, they will demand and pay for entertainment.

Back to the spoiled Predators...among other things mentioned in the column, the city was very compromising, they took 20% of the concessions income, and they wanted $50k rent, annually. for all of you leasers out there, thats just over 4 grand per month. Hell, I'd pay $4100 a month to live in the Gaylord Entertainment center. Oh yeah, the Predators get all of the ticket revenue, advertising revenue, the luxury box revenue (which the city paid for when coerced into renovating the arena), and don't forget the parking revenue.

Add in the largest portion of the CBA revenue sharing agreement rumored between 10 and 12 million, and it seems like this team is in great shape. Do they even have expenses other than their rent and team travel? And Leipold is asking for money to move. Who would want to when all of the major income belongs to the team, and the team needs more money to be competetive? This is one of those things about professional sports that just disgusts me, teams that are doing well, and whine because they "can't compete," for those of you that don't follow the sport, small market teams were the big ticket last year in the playoffs with Edmonton, Carolina and Buffalo all in the mix. I couldn't agree with Al Strachan of fox sports more when he says: "We've had enough. We couldn't care less if your ugly uniforms are never seen again. To paraphrase a song that emanated from your fair city, 'Take your team and shove it.'"

***WARNING****
Sentimental home team support moment approaching in light of Valentine's day

I know the Blue Jackets haven't had the best of luck, or talent, or whatever it is you want to use as an excuse, but without this team in Columbus, I think that downtown Columbus would be different. The business and revitalization that the Blue Jackets brought to Columbus six years ago is just what this city needed, and now with a new ballpark for the Clippers going in across Neil avenue, I only have more of a reason to support Columbus, it's team and as Greg Murray keeps telling me at every game, MY COOOLLLUMBUS, BLLLUUUUUUUEEEE JACKETS! (loud shouting and appluase erupts).

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