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Do the expense and aggravation outweigh the benefits?
Published on November 21, 2005 By singrdave In Baseball
The Washington Nationals moved from Montreal last year and had a great season. Far outpaced the Expos of old, which surprised a lot of people. Sorry, I digress already...

They have been playing at RFK Stadium, which is apparently inadequate for their needs. The owner of the Washington Nationals, which is Major League Baseball itself (long story), insists that the town build the team a brand spanking new stadium, complete with its own Metro station and all that. And today's Washington Post says that the stadium is coming in WAAAAY overbudget, by about $55 million dollars (more than 10% over the $535 million allotted to build it).

This reminds me of previous attempts of teams to try and extract stadiums out of an unsuspecting populace. Usually the plea takes the tone of "we'll move the team to a place where they appreciate us, like" .

For example, the Minnesota Vikings have been trying to get a better stadium than the Humpty-dome out of Minneapolitans for years, with threats of up and moving to San Antonio. But San Antonio doesn't want them either...

This situation asks the question, do we owe our teams the stadiums they may or may not deserve?

Comments
on Nov 21, 2005
No
on Nov 21, 2005
No


Thanks, I think that was actually "two cents' worth".
on Nov 21, 2005
There are a lot of cities out there willing to fork over the money to get a franchise. Whether it is right or not, they do hold all the cards since it is a monopoly (Major league Sports). San Antonio wants a team.  They would be satisfied with the Vikings, as would LA.  Just to name a couple that are salivating over the Saints.
on Nov 21, 2005
Heck no we don't "owe them" any dang stadium!

Let em play outside the way it use be! Best therapy in the world, a sunny day,
crisp weather, a thermos, blanket,

whether it's baseball, or football, outdoors is awesome, and part ( imho) of what made America

Trudy takes a bow and tiptoes out.........
on Nov 21, 2005
Nope, we don't owe them crap. On the other hand, they don't owe us crap either.

The reality of the professional sports market place though, is, if a city wants a team, they are going to have to show the team they "care" enough to provide a facility for them. It's all supply and demand... except in Green Bay. ;~D
on Nov 21, 2005
except in Green Bay.


Yep, Green Bay is the exception. The city owns the team, they own the stadium. No chance the Packers will ever leave Green Bay. Priceless.
on Nov 21, 2005
I've written a bit on this issue in the past, and personally am glad that the Nationals have found a home in D.C., even if it comes with a pricetag attached for the local government there.

The portion/area of D.C. where the new stadium is supposed to be built badly needs to be rejuvenated. The same might be said for the space where the existing stadium is, but the land around the existing stadium has a host of environmental impact costs and clean-up costs that make it just as expensive, if not more so, then the land that was choosen instead.

The fact of the matter is as ParaTed2k said -- it's supply and demand. D.C. wants baseball so help pump up tourism, and show themselves to be a town capable of supporting major sports (I know they also have the Wizards and Capitals in town, but they lost the Redskins to the suburbs in Maryland years ago).

The money spent to help build the facility that the Wizards and Capitals use has done wonders for D.C. It helped to start a big rejuvenation of the Chinatown area, and has helped stablize that area. The same will likely happen for the area surrounding the Nationals new park. It may never make any real money for the city, but in many untold ways, it will bring great benefit to the citizens there, which is why the politicians voted for it.


I will say however that some major sports are very hypocritcal in this area. For example, the NFL has made arrangements to promise to dump approximately $500 million into refurbishing the Coliseum in L.A. so that a franchise might go there. Why are they willing to spend their own money there, but demand money out of every other city? Well, because of the TV market and revenue. And because by holding the L.A. market over the heads of every other locale, they can extract stadium money out of those other locales until several of them line-up to say NO WAY.
on Nov 21, 2005

Why are they willing to spend their own money there, but demand money out of every other city? Well, because of the TV market and revenue. And because by holding the L.A. market over the heads of every other locale, they can extract stadium money out of those other locales until several of them line-up to say NO WAY.

I was going to answer your question, but you did with the next sentence.  LA is the second largest market in the US (Behind NYC), and it does seem strange they cannot keep a team there.

on Nov 21, 2005
Yep, Green Bay is the exception. The city owns the team, they own the stadium. No chance the Packers will ever leave Green Bay. Priceless.


Of course, with the season the Packers are having this year, not being able to dump them on someone else isn't necessarily a good thing. ;~D
on Nov 21, 2005

Don't get me wrong, I am glad the Ex-Pos have found a new home here. I like baseball, and love to watch when I'm actually at the stadium. We may be able to scrape together some $$$ and see a game next season.

But does the team automatically get a blank check from the city in order to keep it there? I am also reminded of the Vancouver Grizzlies, who are very happy in their new home in Memphis. Or the Minnesota North Stars, who were moved to Dallas the year after it won the Stanley Cup. Or the overhaul of LA Coliseum to bring expansion football to Los Angeles. Or the Oakland-LA shuttle with the Raiders. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.
on Nov 21, 2005
No


ditto
on Nov 22, 2005
I also think of the Arizona Cardinals, who for the longest time (since 1986) have been playing in Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium.
Bill Bidwill (the owner) moved to Phoenix from St. Louis with the hope that Phoenicians would build him a stadium.
That hasn't happened.
In fact, Super Bowl XXX was held at Sun Devil Stadium, but the NFL said they would not send another Super Bowl to Arizona until they built a proper stadium.

If memory serves, they've started one in Glendale. I know neither Mesa nor Scottsdale wanted it. Anyone out there know how that stadium is going?

Found it, it is at The Arizona Cardinals will move into their new state-of-the-art stadium in Glendale for the 2006 NFL Season.
How exciting for the West Valley. About time they got some good construction projects.

So apparently the Arizona Cardinals feel they are owed a stadium.
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