When are Cities and Counties going to stop kowtowing to Professional Sports Teams and their Leagues? These Billionaire owners can certainly build their own sports venues, and use the depreciation–like they do on Player Contracts. Here are a few observations:
Some teams are providing actual bars (from the local community) at their venues, with scantilly-clad waitresses, big screen televisions and big overstuffed easy chairs. Isn’t that like what you might expect at your local sports bar or your home?
A couple of years ago, the Miami Dolphins hosted a Super Bowl, in what South Floridians affectionately call JRS (or Joe Robbie Stadium). JRS is only 25 years old; however, the NFL tried to strong-arm South Florida (which has hosted more Super Bowls than anywhere else), that, if it did not spend $250 Million on upgrades (biggER-screen TVs, more comfortable seats,”upgraded” restrooms, etc.), it would not host another. Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) has already opted out. Miami-Dade, which has built American Airlines Arena and, just recently, Marlins Stadium, is still considering the proposal. Since the Super Bowl is scheduled for the height of The Tourist Season, South Florida really has nothing to gain. There are really not many more hotel rooms to fill, at that time of year.
The year after the last Super Bowl in JRS, it was held in the brand new Cowboys Stadium, with the 60 yard screen, from which punts have bounced off. Well, you might recall the horrendous ice storm that caused many transportation problems. Oh, but you could watch the Big Game, if you could get there, on that Big Screen. Almost as good as watching it from home. Boating, Fishing, Golf, Swimming?
Lastly, the Miami Heat just won its second NBA Title, after coming-up short in the Finals last year. You would think that the Team, owned by a Billionaire, would be profitable, given its success. Keep in mind that the Financial Books of most Sports Teams are not open to the public. Accordingly, it turns out that the Heat’s Financials have never provided sufficient profitability to rise above the level where the City and County–that financed the new Arena–would receive anything whatsoever.
ARE YOU SIMILARLY FINANCING THE TEAMS–AND THE BILLIONAIRE OWNERS–IN YOUR HOME TOWN?
When Joe Robbie built the Dolphins Stadium, it cost $100 Million and he did it personally. The City and County allowed him to issue tax-free municipal bonds, which were backed by Him, the Revenues of the Team and he pledged the Team and Stadium as collateral. No State or Local Government provided any money or exposure.