Scott Ellis 6:45 p.m., Dec. 10
Why pro sports subsidies are c**p
But Oakland A's owner denies he sabotaged the plumbing
On Sunday, the Oakland A's sewage system backed up. Neil deMause of fieldofschemes.com said one thing was certain: there would be renewed calls for a new, subsidized stadium. True. Major League Baseball quickly jumped in and declared, "As we have stated many times, the Oakland A's need a new ballpark. Sunday's unfortunate incident is a stark illustration that they need a long-term solution." Translation: taxpayers will have to ante up to keep poop from polluting the place. However, when asked if he deliberately sabotaged the plumbing, A's owner Lew Wolff declared, "It's all a bunch of c**p."
And on the topic of subsidized c**p, the Miami Heat basketball team wants a subsidy for the arena it plays in. Some history: the team got a subsidized arena in 1988. But only eight years later, it got another one. So the current one is still pretty young. At least, Miami taxpayers may be in no mood for dishing out more for a pro team. In 2009, the Miami Marlins baseball team wangled a $490 million subsidy for a new ballpark -- $2.49 billion, actually, through 2049. So the owner, Jeff Loria, reduced the payroll from $108 million to $35 million. (Some say he shed almost $150 million in future payroll. These numbers can be interpreted a number of different ways.) Attendance is terrible. So is the team. As of today (June 18), Miami is last in the Eastern Division of the National League with a record barely over .300. Miami citizens are so mad that the basketball Heat and football Dolphins may face problems fleecing taxpayers.
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