This morning's Baltimore Sun had as it's cover story "Many win if Ravens do". I know readers of this blog will enjoy the story, as we are all well aware of the enormous benefits of professional sports franchises on jobs and incomes.
Here is my sure-to-be unpublished letter to the editor in response to the article:
I read with interest the article on the Ravens' impact on local business activity. It seems that Baltimore Ravens fans have several reasons to celebrate the team. One reason is that were it not for the Ravens success this year, many area residents would have cold heads and bare chests. But because the team is winning, area residents are buying hats and shirts.
Of course, that benefit is relatively small compared to the effects of the Ravens' presence in Baltimore on the area's hunger problem. From reading the article, I learned that many people in Baltimore would not think to eat or drink on Sundays were it not for the Ravens playing in town.
I am also pleased to learn that WBAL radio and 98Rock are able to charge more for ad time than they were last year and are getting more advertising than last year, when they didn't broadcast Ravens games. I am sure that the stations that had the broadcast rights last year are equally happy for the increased advertising experienced by WBAL radio and 98Rock. They were probably just so overcome with joy for their brother broadcasters that they couldn't speak when asked to comment.
So, thanks Ravens, for all the benefits you bring to our city.
One further point the article makes is quite interesting. The booth in the stadium that sells state lottery tickets has never done better. That's surely good news, as sales to football game patrons are probably the least regressive lottery sales there are. And, even better, the revenues from the lottery are used to pay off the bonds that finance the stadium. How's that for a well-designed user fee?!