Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit

By Neil Demause; Joanna Cagan | Go to book overview

2 Stealing Home

It's amazing what a pretty picture you can draw when you
spend other people's money.—Houston radio station owner Dan
Patrick

If it were only in Baltimore and Cleveland that the commotion over new stadiums reached such desperate extremes, it might be possible to write the two towns off as nothing more than a couple of sad coincidences—a pair of down-on-their-luck cities trying anything and everything to remake themselves. But in city after city, from Boston to Seattle, Los Angeles to Miami, Minneapolis to Houston, the story has been the same: Team owners in the four biggest sports in the country—baseball, football, basketball, and hockey—are demanding new publicly funded stadiums and arenas and threatening to pull up and leave if they don't get them. North America is in the midst of a remarkable stadium and sports-arena building boom unlike any other in its history. And municipalities large and small are paying the price for it—in massive public expenditures and tax abatements that lead to the loss of revenue for more worthy projects, and in the dismay and heartache of dedicated fans who see their decades of loyalty and devotion trampled en route to the newest arena. Between 1980 and 1990, U.S. cities spent some $750 million on building or renovating sports arenas and stadiums. The bill for the '90s is expected to

-27-

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Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface to the New Edition xi
  • Introduction - The View from the Cheap Seats xiii
  • 1: A Tale of Two Inner Cities 1
  • 2: Stealing Home 27
  • 3: Ball Barons 42
  • 4: The Art of the Steal 62
  • 5: Deus Ex Pizza 83
  • 6: Home Field Advantage 103
  • 7: Local Heroes 119
  • 8: Bad Neighbors 136
  • 9: Repeat Offenders 160
  • 10: The Bucks Stop Here 182
  • 11: Winning Isn't Everything 194
  • 12: One Year 198
  • 13: The Art of the Steal Revisited 225
  • 14: Youppi! Come Home 247
  • 15: The Perfect Storm 272
  • 16: Saving Fenway 318
  • Acknowledgments 341
  • Notes 347
  • Index 389
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