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Oops! NFL team official slips up and tells the truth

"Unwise investments [subsidized stadiums] are strictly for the taxpayer saps."

The Miami Dolphins football team is seeking a $200 million subsidy for renovation of its stadium -- at a time when enraged taxpayers are paying 80% of the cost of a ballpark for the horrible Miami Marlins baseball team. There are some unhappy people in Miami. According to FieldofSchemes.com, the Dolphins president, one Mike Dees, was asked if the $200 million subsidy was basically the same old corporate welfare for billionaires. For some reason, which will probably get him fired, Dees told the truth, replying, "Just because somebody is wealthy enough doesn't mean he should invest money in a way that is unwise." That tells it all. Columnist Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald wrote that Dees "could hardly have been more straightforward. Unwise investments are strictly for the taxpaying saps. NFL and Major League Baseball owners certainly didn't get to be billionaires by risking their own money on outlandishly expensive boondoggles. They use ours instead."

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The Miami Dolphins football team is seeking a $200 million subsidy for renovation of its stadium -- at a time when enraged taxpayers are paying 80% of the cost of a ballpark for the horrible Miami Marlins baseball team. There are some unhappy people in Miami. According to FieldofSchemes.com, the Dolphins president, one Mike Dees, was asked if the $200 million subsidy was basically the same old corporate welfare for billionaires. For some reason, which will probably get him fired, Dees told the truth, replying, "Just because somebody is wealthy enough doesn't mean he should invest money in a way that is unwise." That tells it all. Columnist Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald wrote that Dees "could hardly have been more straightforward. Unwise investments are strictly for the taxpaying saps. NFL and Major League Baseball owners certainly didn't get to be billionaires by risking their own money on outlandishly expensive boondoggles. They use ours instead."

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Comments
39

But Don, I thought those nice, new stadia around the country were money-making machines. I am shocked--SHOCKED I tell you.

Feb. 12, 2013

aardvark: The subsidized stadia are money-making machines for the billionaire owners, and money-draining machines for the governments dumb enough to pick up the tab for them. They may be money-making machines for the politicians who vote them and then take payoff loot under the table. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 13, 2013

"money-draining machines for the governments dumb enough to pick up the tab for them"

more like payback for their buddies that got them elected.

politicians may appear dumb, but its more like cunning.

"De Gaulle In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant
"

Feb. 13, 2013

Murphyjunk: Some of the San Diego poiticians pushing sports stadia scams are indeed smart -- sticky-fingered, rapaciously, corruptly smart. But take it from one who has been fighting these scams since the mid-1990s: some of those pols are just plain stupid. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 13, 2013

If you're cunning, nobody knows who you are. You stay out of sight and let the goons do your dirty work.

Feb. 16, 2013

Twister: How can a city councilmember stay out of sight? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 18, 2013

Wouldn't it be a good idea to have the Super Bowl somewhere warm? Like San Diego or Miami? No, in addition to allowing teams to relocate the NFL wants to hold the Super Bowl (and wildly inflated estimates of its' economic value to municipalities) over our heads. It's pretty funny watching the lengths the NFL will go to in order to keep this scam going. Next year, the Super Bowl is in the open air stadium in NYC. With Nemo just missing NYC they're already talking about extreme contingency plans - even having the game on SATURDAY.

Feb. 13, 2013

ImJustABill: Yes, the NFL is rewarding cities that massively (or completely) subsidize stadiums for the owners (18 of 32 of whom are billionaires). That means Super Bowls will go to cold climes. The NFL's claim that a city rakes in $350 million from a Super Bowl is blatantly fraudulent. Objective economists say it's more like $35 million, and some say a city loses. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

I disagree with your reasoning as to why future Super Bowls will go to stadiums in cold climes. In my opinion New Jersey in 2014 is a thank-you to New Jersey for paying $300 million in infrastructure for the new stadium. In 2015, the Super Bowl is in Glendale. In 2016, it's between Santa Clara and Miami, IF Miami gets a stadium upgrade. As of a couple of days ago, the vote hadn't been scheduled and talk is that without a Super Bowl guarantee in 2016 or 2017, no upgrade. The 2017 finalists are Houston and whichever of the other who don't get the SB in 2016, again only if Miami has upgraded their stadium. After 2017, then where? Minnesota, in a new stadium with a retractable roof, would be a likely candidate. I think the owners will take a hard look at how things go in New Jersey before deciding on another outdoor cold weather site. But I don’t think such a selection will have anything to do with” rewarding cities that massively (or completely) subsidize stadiums for the owners”. It will be about power. Dan Snyder owns the team in the nation’s capital. Robert Kraft and Pat Bowlen are two of the NFL’s power brokers, though there are questions about Bowlen’ health. By giving a Super Bowl to New Jersey, the NFL has set a precedent. If the 2014 Super Bowl goes off even moderately well, then these guys are going to want one too. Jerry Jones may own the NFL’s highest valued team, but Bob Kraft is the only owner who's on the broadcast, labor and finance committees. So would the other owners vote against a game in Foxborough if New Jersey goes well? How about a game in the nation’s capital or in the city with 43 consecutive seasons of sellouts? My guess is that unless New Jersey is an unmitigated disaster, we’ll see the NFL implementing a cold-weather game about every four years. And with the 49er’s new stadium in Santa Clara, the only chance for a Super Bowl in So Cal is a new stadium. San Diego, downtown LA, City of Industry, it doesn’t matter where. Only a new stadium would compete with Santa Clara for a west coast Super Bowl. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: Power within the inner circles of NFL owners may be a factor in Super Bowl site selection, but do you remember when the head of the NFL came to San Diego when it was host of its most recent Super Bowl, and said it would probably be the last one in San Diego until the team squeezed money out of the City for a new facility? This was a clear statement that the Super Bowl goes to cities whose taxpayers build new stadiums, or greatly improve existing ones, for team owners. It was a blatant blackmail attempt. I believe Tagliabue was the commissioner issuing the statement. The Super Bowl is a quid pro quo for cities providing corporate welfare to NFL owners. When an owner is trying to get a fat subsidy for a stadium, the possibility of hosting a Super Bowl is invariably thrown out as bait. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

Don Bauder, I don't disagree with your above premise. That's why I included Minnesota as at least a possible, if not probable, host site after 2017. But the point it was trying to get across, apparently unsuccessfully, is that the likelyhood of another cold weather Super Bowl, excluding one in Minnesota,depends on 2 things, in my opinion. First is how next years NJ based Super Bowl comes off. Second, assuming all goes well, is what the owners I mentioned above end up wanting to do. Look at the next 4 Super Bowls. No cold weather cities until at least 2018. Let me put it a little more concisely. Apart from Minnesota's new stadium, the ONLY new stadium even being dreamed about right now is for Buffalo. And even with that "dream", Buffalo signed a 10 yr lease extension. Under the terms any relocation in the first 7 years carries a $400 million penalty as a price tag. So in effect, the Bills are there until 2020 at the earliest. With the way the NFL does their Super Bowl bid process, IF the Bills can get money for a new stadium, the would have to be committed to it by about 2017 just to bid for a Super Bowl somewhere around 2024-2025. There are no other new stadiums in "cold climes" coming for the NFL to the out the Super Bowl as bait.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: Gawd! Can you imagine a Super Bowl in Buffalo? But on the other hand, it may be less frigid in February than it is in December in Buffalo, when regular games are played. Just the thought of an outside bowl in Minnesota gives me the chills. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

You might be surprised, I sure was, to learn that the average temp in Buffalo, in early February, is actually a few degrees colder than in December. I was surprised to learn that in fact at the time of the Super Bowl, Buffalo is on an average of 7 degrees colder than East Rutherford. Minneapolis is another 10 degrees colder on average, but their stadium will have a retractable roof. I would be surprised if either Minneapolis doesn't make a bid or there bid isn't selection. The one caveat to that would be the available of hotel rooms for 70k plus fans and several thousand others who would work the game in some capacity.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: I would not go to an outdoor Super Bowl in Buffalo, Minneapolis, or New Jersey even if given free tickets and transportation. In fact, I would not go to a Super Bowl anywhere, even if subsidized to do so. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 15, 2013

But you are not a pro football fan. In fact, i would go as far as to say that you don't seem to a fan of an pro sports. The NFL couldn't care less about you and wouldn't waste even an ounce of energy trying to change your mind. I feel the same way about opera. We've been a couple of times. I could tolerate Penzance, but I suspect only because we knew someone in the production. On more than one occasion, I have literally told my wife she couldn't pay me enough to want to go again. I don't have anything against it, I just don't like it. On the other hand, I have been to 3 Super Bowls and thoroughly enjoyed them. Of course, I'm sure the fact that they were here and I only paid for one might have been a slight factor.

Feb. 15, 2013

tomjohnston: Believe it or not, you are wrong. I am a hypocrite, I guess. I watch college football (mainly my alma mater, Wisconsin) on TV. I watch pro football on TV. I may watch parts of the World Series and the NCAA basketball tournament. I came into journalism as the sports editor of campus papers in both high school and college (in college I eventually became editor in chief.) I even played frosh-soph and varsity basketball in high school, but spent more time on the bench than on the court, although I did start a number of games every year. (I would be pulled by the coach when I stunk up the joint.) This year, I swore I would not watch the Super Bowl. But I finally watched it with the sound off and music playing -- Bach's cello suites being the most memorable. Funny you mentioned Pirates of Penzance. It isn't really opera; it is operetta, but absolutely delightful. In the last two weeks, I have watched three DVDs -- Marriage of Figaro and Die Meistersinger, two of the greatest operas ever written, and Pirates of Penzance, throughout which we roared in laughter and thoroughly enjoyed the music, acting, and dancing. It is one of the greatest operettas, and one of Gilbert & Sullivan's greatest. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 16, 2013

I think the NFL's recent statements regarding the NYC SB also highlight the value of a taxpayer subsidy vs. the economic impact of a SuperBowl. The value of hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies to the NFL is SO great that the NFL is willing to risk the losses from shifting the game from Sunday to Saturday.

Feb. 14, 2013

ImJustABill: Sorry, I have not heard talk about shifting the Super Bowl from a Sunday to a Saturday. Clue me in. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 16, 2013

tomjohnston: Yes, but money talks. And money flows on Sunday. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 18, 2013

In a comment that consisted of giving you 2 links because you had not heard talk of changing the Super Bowl date due to weather, I have absolutely no idea what your comment is in relation too.

Feb. 18, 2013

tomjohnston: It's about the NFL's rapacity. I thought that was our topic. Sorry to confuse you. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 20, 2013

As TomJohnston's articles state, the NFL's worst case possibilities for a NYC-area Super Bowl include moving the game to Saturday. Would only happen for a Sandy/Nemo type storm which is statistically unlikely - but not impossible.

Feb. 18, 2013

And with the 49er’s new stadium in Santa Clara,

Is this a done deal????? They had a deal for a new stadium back in 1995 when they played the Chargers in the SB, and even had approval to pass bonds, but it fell apart.

Feb. 14, 2013

SP--they broke ground in April of 2012.

Feb. 14, 2013

aardvark: That sounds right. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

I had no idea...... Shows how closely I follow Football, even from my old stomping grounds.

Candlestick sucks eggs, the wind in that area is awful. I would tear down Candlestick and erect wind turbines.

Feb. 14, 2013

SurfPup: Bay Area environmentalists wouldn't permit the building of wind turbines. But there must be some use for Candlestick. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

From my comment below: I read a few days ago that once the Santa Clara stadium is finished, the Stick will be imploded and the site used for a mall and residential/office complex.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: Ah, another mall and residential/office complex. It's nice that San Francisco isn't saturated in such complexes, as San Diego is. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 15, 2013

Do you mean is the stadium a done deal? If so, the surfpuppy is a little behind as they broke ground almost a year ago. The stadium will be done in time for the 2014 season. It was 1997 that they had a plan for a privately funded stadium and adjacent development at Candlestick Point. A prop was approved by the voters for $100 million to help subsidize the project.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: There is a story in itself on how the sports team owners got taken on the Candlestick Point deal; from what I hear, they didn't know about the crippling winds. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

Actually, they did, or at least the were warned about it and chose to ignore/not believe the warning. In the afternoon and evening, when the inland temperatures rise, a very strong and cold wind comes in off of the Pacific Ocean. When ever someone was brought in to inspect the site, they were brought in in the morning. Lucky choice? I think not. Also, the upper deck, as originally designed, was supposed to be a wind baffle. Due to financial constraints, it was not built as designed . The architect also considered rotating it 45 degrees because of the wind but at the time the was the issue of the sun being in the eyes of the right fielder. He was overruled because it was better, read cheaper, to inconvenience one outfielder than redo the plans. I also have a friend in the bay area who once had an architect, one who designs large structures, tell him that most of the problems with the wind could have been avoided if the Stick had been built a few feet further east. It seems the problem is the hill to the west. As the wind comes in from the west, it deflects up and over the hill and down into the bowl of the stadium. Had the stadium been built something like only 50 ft further east, the wind would have deflected off of and then over the stadium. BTW, I read a few days ago that once the Santa Clara stadium is finished, the Stick will be imploded and the site used for a mall and residential/office complex. I have frozen my ass off there on many occasions, bad enough that while we were in college, my wife, then girlfriend, stopped going with me. What's the old saying, The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. I'll give the Stick this though. As cold as it can get, even in the middle of the summer, the old girl help up pretty damn good during the '94 Loma Prieta quake.

Feb. 14, 2013

tomjohnston: Yes, your story of how the buyers were only brought in to inspect the site in the morning, so they didn't get blown away by the winds, is the one I had heard. I suppose the story could be apocryphal, but it is a delightful one nonetheless. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

I had no idea of they had approved and started a new stadium.

Feb. 14, 2013

SurfPup: I am quite sure it is a done deal. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 14, 2013

As long as there are more suckers and determined yahoos hitting the voting booths than folks with at least an ounce of sense, we will continue to be ^ss #u8ked by the billionaires. The Internet could change that, if it wasn't so clogged with egomania.

Feb. 16, 2013

Twister: In these sports subsidy elections, the team will outspend opposition by 100 or 200 to 1. So it's almost impossible for the intelligent in the community to beat back these giveaways, especially when the politicians' palms are greased in the process. However, there is hope. The election of 2012 is an example. Following the Supreme Court's tragically corrupt Citizens United decision, it was certain that money from billionaire scum would buy the election. But Obama was able to raise money, too, and his team was just smarter in use of electronics -- Internet, tweets, Facebook, etc. But the next election? Who knows? Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 17, 2013

Twister: In these corporate welfare stadium scams, the teams outspend opponents by 100 to 200 to 1, and part of that money goes to the yahoos for whom the local pro team is the most important things in their lives. They can be counted on to vote. And there are many of them in any market. Politicians know it. Politicians also know they might get slipped some money under the table. This is a real juggernaut. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 20, 2013

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