...the big four commercial sports make operating profits of
$1.6 billion, Forbes has calculated - but their taxpayer
subsidies exceed $2 billion a year (and that's before the estimated
$864 million Mayor Bloomberg and Uncle Sam just handed to the New
York Yankees) according to Neil deMause, coauthor of a book on
sports subsidies. In other words, taxpayers literally
provide all the profits of MLB, the NFL, NBA, and NHL combined.David
Cay Johnston in Mother Jones January/February 2009
Last year was a busy one for public giveaways to the
National Football League. In Virginia, Republican Governor Bob
McDonnell, who styles himself as a budget-slashing conservative
crusader, took $4 million from taxpayers’ pockets and handed the money
to the Washington Redskins, for the team to upgrade a workout facility.
Hoping to avoid scrutiny, McDonnell approved the gift while the state
legislature was out of session. The Redskins’ owner, Dan Snyder, has a
net worth estimated by Forbes at $1 billion. But even billionaires like
to receive expensive gifts. Greg
Easterbrook, the Atlantic 9/18/2013
Republicans are tribalists: many of them have false loyalties
to sports teams, feel discomfort among people different from
themselves, vigorously support their religion over
any others, and tend to xenophobia, and even favor Fascism.
They often have great enthusiam for building stadiums at
taxpayer expense. They redirect higher education
from its educational goals, to make money from sports.
I never watch sports on cable, but have no choice in paying
for it. My cable provider says it must charge everyone for the sports programs that it carries.
Major broadcasters regularly interupt or pre-empt news progams
to air sports: golf, football, basketball, etc. But If you google this
phenomenon, the results will show the opposite: sports interupted by
$10 million. This is the amount of money Bank of America -
currently receiving $45 billion in bailout funds - spent on a
five-day Super Bowl promotional blitz.
Just think what even a portion of that $10 million could mean to
citizens like you and me. It could mean the difference between
foreclosure and keeping a home, between unemployment and keeping a
job, between skimping on prescriptions and affording health
Yesterday, we told you about Public Citizen's new campaign,
Operation Accountability, and our goal to gather 100,000 signatures
in favor of giving Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis a pink slip.
Thousands of activists have already signed, calling for an end to
irresponsible corporate spending before one more penny of taxpayer
money is spent on a bailout.
CAY JOHNSTON:... George Steinbrenner is getting over $600
million for the new Yankee Stadium in New York. The New York Mets
are getting over $600 million. In fact, the City of New York gave
them money to lobby against the taxpayers to get more money. Rudy
Giuliani gave $50 million to the two teams for that purpose.
The new owners of the Washington Nationals baseball team in
Washington, D.C., paid $450 million for the team. But, in fact,
they got the team for free, because the subsidy they’re
getting for the new stadium is worth $611 million. We actually paid
these people to buy the team.
Now, in this country right now, we are spending $2 billion a
year subsidizing the big four sports: baseball, basketball,
football and hockey. It accounts for all of the profits of that
industry and more. Now, there may be individual teams that make
money, but the industry as a whole is not profitable. And
that’s astonishing because the big four leagues are exempt
from the laws of competition. By the way, irony is not dead,
because here are people who are in the business of competition on
the field who are exempted by law from the rules of economic