Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It

Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It

Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It

Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It

Synopsis

Dazzled by visions of economic growth and enhanced prestige for their communities, state and local government leaders have created a veritable welfare system for major league sports. This system has pampered owners by providing them with new stadiums and arenas, investment opportunities, luxury suites, and practice facilities. Why should the public fund these franchises when the sports industry is so successful? In Major League Losers, Mark S. Rosentraub explains the history of this practice and reveals the surprising fact that cities gain little from hosting a major league ball club. He provides government officials and taxpayers with a clearer understanding of how a city can, and should, negotiate with sports franchises. This new, concise edition includes a discussion of the recent fight by the New York Yankees and other teams to gain new stadiums.

Excerpt

A welfare system exists in this country that transfers hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers to wealthy investors and their extraordinarily well paid employees. Who are these individuals profiting from life on the dole? They are the owners of America's professional sports teams and the athletes who play in each of the four major sports leagues (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey). the true welfare kings and queens of America are the players and team owners whose salaries and profits produce sufficient copy for a season's worth of episodes of Lifiestyles of the Rich and Famous.

The sports welfare system exists -- indeed, it thrives and continues to grow -- because state and local government leaders, dazzled by promises of economic growth from sports, mesmerized by visions of enhanced images for their communities, and captivated by a mythology of the importance of professional sports, have failed to do their homework. Too many community leaders do not understand -- or they choose to ignore -- the reams of information describing the minuscule impact of teams on local economies and the ways in which the four major sports leagues control the number of teams and manipulate revenue-sharing programs to victimize taxpayers and sports fans.

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