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Thorne on stadium subsidies

Gary Thorne, the ESPN broadcaster in USAToday:

For years the Yankees were part of the wailing cries from involved team owners that public funds were needed to build the west side project if the teams were to stay in the city. Bull.

As with all moneyed people, the first rule is to use someone else's bucks to finance the business of your desires. Nothing wrong with that until the till one seeks to tap is the public coffers.

The evidence continues to mount with independent study after study that public investment in sports stadiums for pro teams is at best a financial wash, and usually a negative return on investment.

Check out the materials at economics.about.com. Good reading rarely cited by teams.

He goes on, referring to the stadium shenanigans in DC last fall, and the recent rash of privately financed proposals in NYC:

Funny how the Yankees suddenly have the $800 million to build a new park ... right after the Mets announced they had the private cash to go forward.

...The case of the new stadium being financed by the District of Columbia for the Nationals is a real disgrace. The District is desperate for funds for schools and other services that tax dollars support.

Yet, it voted to build a new stadium for the team's owners -— none other than Major League Baseball -— who bought the Expos and moved them to D.C.

...If the District had refused to fund the stadium, the same thing that happened in New York would have happened in the Nation's Capital. The money would have suddenly appeared --— either from the new owners or from the coffers of MLB owners.

Besides, RFK is not such a bad place to play. It's just that the owners want those luxury boxes and the money they bring. That being the case, let them live by the system they love to tout when it comes to everybody else's business-free enterprise.

It's nice to hear Mr. Thorne speaking out on this issue, again. I hope he doesn't get fined (see post above).

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