October 09, 2010
Personally I am largely opposed to states and municipalities funding the construction of sports stadiums and arenas. While the situation varies from state to state and town to town I think it is generally not a good idea. The owners of many if these franchises claim to be capitalists but they want to avoid a substantial portion of the risks involved in owning a professional sports franchise while reaping most if not all of the rewards. While government subsidizes these stadiums they are in effect subsiding the wildly inflated player salaries as well. I say if smaller markets cannot support a major league franchise then they should have to make do with a minor league team. Really, it is not the end of the world. I am from New England where Patriots owner Robert Kraft built the magnificent Gillette Stadium on his own dime. Meanwhile, the city of Boston and the State of Massachussetts have steadfastly refused to subsidize the construction of a new Fenway Park for the Red Sox. I heartiy approve! I just wrote a piece on Lunch this past week on the need to replace the aging Fenway Park . I think the owners of the team should have to build it themselves. After all, they just spent $400 million to buy a soccer team in England. In my view, there are too many major league teams located in cities that simply cannot support them without major governmental subsidies. I say let the free market decide.