Should Yolo County Help Save the Kings?

Some of my greatest memories from living in this area are probably the days of going to the Graduate in the early part of the decade when the Kings were going strong and feeling the energy of the packed audience living and dying with every shot the Kings took.

There was that fateful series against the Lakers when, but for a fortuitous bounce of the ball and a clutch three in game four and a foul-filled game 7 that we later found out was due to a referee intentionally throwing the game, the Kings might have won the Western Conference and ultimately the NBA Championship.

 

Those days seem distant now as the Kings, with a team on the verge of relevance again, seem destined to move.

The Sacramento Bee yesterday had a small entry talking about a meeting between dozens of elected officials and business groups in an effort to keep the Kings in town.

Wrote the Bee, “While no specific role was laid out, the regional leaders agreed the City of Sacramento should not be alone in the fight.”

Bringing this issue a bit closer to home, there is a regional draw to the Kings and there would be an economic hit to the region if the city lost the Kings.

According to the Bee, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon called the Kings, “one of the region’s most important assets.”

Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor noted “4,700 jobs from across the area would be created through the construction of a new arena.”

What is also interesting is that there is a signature drive, near completion in Anaheim, that would place a referendum on the ballot to delay that city’s decision to issue bonds aimed at luring the Kings.

Officials estimate that they already have enough signatures to qualify.  They need about 8000 and will end up with over 10,000.

Wrote the Bee, “Once the signatures are collected, they will be turned in to the Anaheim city clerk for validation, perhaps as early as Monday. If they are determined valid, Stutzman said a vote will be forced to allow the $75 million bond package to be issued.”

Normally this move would be a slam dunk, but the NBA  is probably not so keen about putting a third NBA  franchise in the Los Angeles area.  The Clippers are the clear second franchise to the dominant Lakers, and the idea of two weaker sisters does not make a lot of sense.

News 10 in Sacramento reported last night that “an NBA representative has already advised the Kings’ business office to prepare season-ticket packages and corporate sponsorships for next season in Sacramento, as efforts were previously halted, with the uncertain future of the franchise.”

According to that report, “The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, is facing enough opposition from other NBA owners who may prevent them from moving to Anaheim, forcing the Maloofs to remain in Sacramento.”

Mayor Kevin Johnson, himself a former NBA Star with the Phoenix Suns, will be meeting with league officials to prove to the league that Sacramento remains a viable market for the NBA.

Meanwhile, Anaheim’s presentation last week was reported to be ineffective while Mayor Kevin Johnson’s was impactful.

Getting back to local issues, one of the questions is whether there should be a county or regional tax to support keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

Wrote Matt Rexroad last night on his Facebook status, “Everyone in the region wants to keep the Kings in Sacramento. While I want the Kings to remain in Sacramento, I am opposed to a tax increase on Yolo County residents to build an entertainment venue. A facility like that should be built with fees charged to the people that use the facility.”

He suggests the use of revenue bonds to front the money.

Others have suggested that we have far more important issues before us.  And perhaps that is true.  But one of the key questions is always economic development.

How much money does a sports franchise add to a region?  There was an interesting special on the impact that the Oklahoma Thunder’s arrival from Seattle meant to that community, that they were able to produce enough revenue to completely revitalize their downtown.

I do not often agree with Mr. Saylor, but if indeed we would bring in nearly 5000 new jobs to construct a new arena, and those are the type of projects that you live for in economic hardships because they are well-paying construction jobs, I think you have to at least examine the possibilities.

Of course, if the City of Sacramento is calling on the region to help, then they need to be willing to consider some sort of revenue sharing as well.

A lot of people may not care about this issue due to a lack of interest in sports, but think about the impact on the local economy.  One small example was going to sports bars when the Kings were a good team and the places were packed on game nights, particularly in the playoffs.

You cannot ignore the loss to local businesses that losing the area’s only professional franchise would create.  I do not think the public will be flocking to the Graduate to watch the Warriors play if the Kings move – at least not for awhile.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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43 thoughts on “Should Yolo County Help Save the Kings?”

  1. E Roberts Musser

    Frankly, I cannot believe anyone would even remotely consider building a sports stadium right now, in this abysmal economy, in which taxpayers cannot even afford the taxes they pay now; the cities and counties cannot provide basic services; folks are getting furloughed and laid off. Such thinking just boggles the mind. If you know anything about the fiscal history of sports stadiums, this would be a complete nonstarter.

    From http://www.heartland.org: “Most economists who have studied sports facilities subsidies agree subsidizing stadiums is bad public policy because it burdens taxpayers while creating minimal economic benefits.

    “I don’t think you can get much difference of opinion among economists or sports economists around the country: The sports stadiums tend to be drains on local economies,” said Allen Sanderson, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.”

  2. Justin Kudo

    Of course we shouldn’t help “save” them.

    Sports teams economics are pretty absurd these days. There are always more metropolitan areas looking for sports teams than teams available. As a result, you have teams essentially holding cities for ransom, demanding they pick up outrageous costs. If your city isn’t doing well and willing to spend a huge chunk of cash, some other city out there will.

    This has been going on a long time. The Giants are one of the only sports stadiums built in a long time that was actually financed by the owners. Sure, they got considerable tax breaks, but the cost was much lower to the local community than actually paying for the thing (and likely giving those breaks anyhow!). San Francisco made out great on that deal, and the China Basin has turned from a slum into a high-class area.

    Unfortunately, that situation was unique. Sacramento is not going to get that kind of a deal. The voters were offered a deal to finance the arena, and they declined. Hell if I’m going to support financing building Sacramento an arena if their own citizens aren’t willing to.

  3. biddlin

    If only The Kings could be saved without saving the Maloof empire, they might be an asset to the region, but as long as the Maloof family is in charge, they are only collateral . Traditionally, Sacramento has been a baseball and boxing town, but the Kings don’t lack fan support and have been a good fit . Sacramento has not always been a good fit for some of the players and coaches, who prefer a more diverse and sophisticated nightlife. The bottom line is that once Stern and the NBA are properly greased, the team will move to where ever the fat cats can skim the most cream and it probably isn’t near us.

  4. Don Shor

    No tax dollars should be spent on this. Sports franchises and related developments rarely pay off for the city or the region. Certainly adjoining communities should not be asked to participate in the funding.

  5. jonruth

    no – No – NO!

    If building a new arena was good business, the team owners would build it. Since it is better business to have the taxpayers build it they threaten to leave town when they want something.

    The economy – what people spent on the Kings, they will spend elsewhere in Sacramento. A shift in the economy on a micro scale (individual businesses) but equal on a macro scale (the entire area economy.

    At any rate, it all has little effect on Yolo County.

  6. Rifkin

    [i]”… a foul-filled [b]game 7[/b] that we later found out was due to a referee intentionally throwing the game …”[/i]

    You are thinking of Game 6, not Game 7. In that game, the Lakers took 40 foul shots, the Kings 25. (LA had averaged 26 FTA/game that season.) It struck me at the time as the worst officiated NBA game I had ever seen. The Lakers came back from a big deficit as foul after foul — many questionable calls — went against the Kings in the 4th quarter.

    However, it is not proven that the game was fixed or that a referee or even two referees were making bad calls on purpose. But that is what a crooked referee named Tim Donaghy alleged.

    For a well-reasoned counter-argument, consider this analysis by Roland Beech of 82games ([url]http://82games.com/lakerskingsgame6.htm[/url]) (probably the smartest basketball stats research site). His conclusion: [quote] At the end though, my scoring of the calls amounts to seeing the Lakers getting a net bonus of 6 points in the game, which some might take as a sign that the refs had a big role in determining the outcome of a contest with a four point final margin. … Do I think the officiating hurt the Kings’ chances of winning this game? Yes. Do I think there was some nefarious scheme on the part of the refs to control the outcome? No. [/quote]

  7. Justin Kudo

    Well, lets not mix up the details here… Yes these folks have money, yes sports is great business, yes even a sports stadium can be very good business depending on the use you’re getting out of it.

    The key word here is business. As a business, the best way for them to make profit off of their franchise is to not spend a huge chunk of cash on their stadium, and get the public to pay for it instead. Supply and demand being what it is, they certainly have the ability to find a location (and I’m sure they will, league-permitting) that [u][b]is[/b][/u] willing to put up the cash for a new arena. Sacramento has decided it’s not willing to foot the bill to be that place.

  8. Rifkin

    Building arenas does not create any new jobs. It moves money from one pocket to another. This issue has been widely studied and proven over and over: having pro sports franchises or fancy new stadiums does not raise a region’s economic health.

    On a philosophical and practical level, I oppose spending taxpayer money to subsidize private businesses like sports teams.

    However, there is an argument to be made for doing so. It starts with everyone else–or just about everyone else–does it. So if you want to have a pro sports franchise, you are pretty much stuck playing the game by the rules set by all of the other cities and counties across North America which have greatly subsidized these billionaires. If you stand on principal, accept the fact that you just will no longer have any major pro sports teams.

    The second element of benefit is non-monetary. If your region has a good pro sports team and that team is either competing for championships or rising up the ladder in that direction, everyone who follows the team (and many people who generally don’t) get an intangible thrill from the experience. It has the effect, in my opinion, of bringing everyone together, of creating a sense of community that is lacking otherwise.

    The same sort of thing can happen on a college campus when your team is winning. Everyone on campus feels a part of some big, exciting thing when they are all rooting for the same thing. I think this esprit de corps is the best reason to invest in major college sports. They unite disparate people forces around a common cause.

    As such, Yolo County and the other counties around Sacramento benefit regionally from having a major pro sports team to unite around and root for when they win. (The Kings, having had a bad team for the last few years, are about to become good. My take is they are 3-4 years from competing for a championship, but they now have 3 outstanding young players who will form the nucleus of greatness.)

    So given that intangible factor (in contraposition to my antipathy to subsidizing billionaire owners of sports teams) do I think we should have a regional tax to support the Kings, to allow them to build a shiny new arena? Maybe.

    I think there is a good alternative which has been floated in the past which I would like to see tried first: Some years ago, prior to the collapse in housing prices, a developer offered to pay for the entire project in exchange for the County of Sacramento rezoning some 500 acres of rural property he owns from agricultural to housing/commercial. I don’t know if this kind of deal can still be struck, due to the lower land prices since 2008, but if it’s possible, it looks to me like a win-win. The developer (I don’t recall which one) will profit handsomely when he eventually builds his new housing and shopping malls; and without having to pay for the arena, the region will have a facility nice enough to house the Kings.

    If that won’t work any longer, then I could support a small sales tax on a regional basis to build a new arena. I think the tax money could pay for part of the cost and part should be borne by a ticket tax for people who go to the games, concerts, monster truck shows, etc. at the facility. A fair allocation would be to have Sacramento County residents pay five times the rate that the proximate counties pay.

  9. Rifkin

    [i]”… you are pretty much stuck playing the game by the rules set by all of the other cities and counties across North America …”[/i]

    For what it’s worth, this is the same dilemma which Davis faced with Hanlees Volkswagen. If we did not subsidize the construction of that new dealership, another community in our area would have. So if we just stuck to principle, we would not have Hanlees VW and we would not have the gains in sales tax revenues it promises to bring in.

    [i]”If you stand on [b]principal[/b], accept the fact that you just will no longer have any major pro sports teams.”[/i]

    Correction: that should be principle. What an assinine language to have those sorts of homophones.

  10. David Thompson

    Time to say Green Bay!

    Want a fun read on this subject, BAD SPORTS: How owners are ruining the games we love by Dave Zirin.

    In his hard hitting book, which spears almost every professional team in America Zirin points only to the Green Bay Packers as the solution.

    So I say let’s buy the Kings as a community owned team which we keep here forever and fund through community ownership. If we followed the Green Bay way everyone wins.

    The Green Bay Packers, are one of the most fabled teams in football, and also the closest thing to be found to a cooperative in American major league sports.

    The Packers are the only National Football League team that has never been sold. The Packers’ structure works so well that owners of other teams passed a rule that forbids any other community-owned club.

    Now you might find it funny that an Englishman has to explain to Americans the unique history of the Green Bay Packers. But for the past 20 years in my speeches to cooperatives around the country I’ve been explaining the cooperative like structure of the Packers with a British accent. Of course, no American has yet to explain to me why you call it football. But let’s go back to the Packers.

    So here is how it works: The Green Bay Packers have 112,015 stockholders who together own 4,750,934 shares.

    Shares of stock cannot be resold, except back to the team for a fraction of the original price. At the last issuance of shares in the 1990s the price was $200 a share. Green Bay fans bought 120,010 shares during the 17-week sale and provided $24 million towards revamping Lambeau Field, where the team has played for fanatical sold out crowds for the past fifty years..

    No dividends are paid, the stock cannot appreciate in value, and there are no season ticket privileges associated with stock ownership. No stockholder can own more than 200,000 shares to ensure that no one individual is able to assume control of the club.

    No matter how much stock you own you get only one ticket to the annual meeting. Those stockholders elect 44 unpaid directors who then elect a seven member executive committee. Only the president receives remuneration.

    The articles of incorporation state that if the Packers’ franchise is sold, any remaining funds will go the Green Bay Packers Foundation. This requirement ensures that the club remains in Green Bay and there is no financial gain if the stockholders vote to sell the team.

    So what does all this mean to anyone?

    • Green Bay has a population of 102,000 and is in a market of 300,000 people in a very rural state. This is the smallest town in America with a professional football team – only 1/40th the size of the New York City market.
    • The team is worth almost $1 billion and ranks 13th in the NFL in terms of value. However, the Packers have the lowest debt to value percentage of all 32 teams at 5 percent.
    • In a recent Sports Illustrated poll, 17,000 fans rated the game day atmosphere for each NFL team. The experience of seeing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field ranked first. It is described by fans as a “religious experience”.
    • Since 1998, the Harris Interactive Poll has always shown the Packers as one of the four most popular teams in pro football, even though most Packer fans will never see a live game. Year after year, the NFL reports that sales of Packers’ merchandise are one of the highest.
    • The waiting list to buy season tickets has 74,000 names. That’s more than the lucky 72,928 fans who fit in the stadium. The waiting time to get a season ticket is 35 years. Fans often place newborn infants on the waiting list after receiving birth certificates. Rights to season tickets are often a major issue in Green Bay divorces or deaths.
    • There are over 600 co-ops in Wisconsin, many of them making great cheese, hence the “Cheeseheads”. Wisconsin has one of the highest numbers of co-ops per capita in the United States and there are co-ops for almost everything. It is not surprising that in choosing a structure for the Green Bay Packers the founders would chose a non-profit community-owned organization that applies a number of cooperative practices in a state famous for its cooperatives.

    To top it all, the Green Bay colors of green and gold are almost the same as the green and yellow of the cooperative twin pines logo.

    If Green Bay can do it why not Sacramento.

    I might not be a season ticket holder but I would buy a share if that meant community ownership by people and businesses in the region.

    Let’s Pack the Sac.

  11. Dr. Wu

    The economics of sports complexes has been studied extensively by academic economists (most notably Andrew Zimbalest of Smith college).

    The conclusion–they provide no economic benefit.

    You can spend money on any infrastructure and create jobs–schools, courthouses, etc. Or you could spend the money on smaller classrooms.

    Saylor should know better–then again he has gotten just about everything else wrong.

    Sacramento is too small for a major league franchise (as are many other cities).

    As for the Kings, in their heyday their franchise player, Chris Webber, established himself as one of the worst big game players in the history of professional sports. His poor big game play infamously started in college and continued with the Kings.

  12. mercy for all

    I like the idea of a tax on entertainment, at the theater, in bars and restaurants in sacramento and all surrounding counties to fund a new arena and the public part of the financing. I’ve come to believe that keeping them here (hopefully without the spoiled rich playboys that have apparantly bankrupted Daddy’s beer empire ) has its merit.

    Think about this though. How ’bout building the arena in west sacto, along the river on our side! near Raley field. And one more dream. Next time, David, your at the Grad get a cold one and watch the “crowd” at an A’s home game on a wednesday night. Then compare it to the ‘cats crowd at Raley. Lets get the A’s to move here. You know that was considered in building Raley which can be expanded for a major league team.

  13. Rifkin

    [i]”Sacramento is too small for a major league franchise (as are many other cities).”[/i]

    Not true. Sacramento is one of the 20 largest TV markets in the United States ([url]http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets[/url]). It is the 24th largest MSA, bigger than Cleveland, which has an NFL team, an NBA team and a Major League Baseball team.

    Many cities with much smaller TV markets and MSA populations have major pro sports teams, including poor little New Orleans, where they have an NFL team and an NBA team. The Sacramento metro region is large enough and rich enough to support multiple major franchises.

    The biggest problem facing Sacramento, aside from the bad economy of the last few years and no modern arena, is the lack of private enterprise. We simply don’t have the Fortune 500 corporations to buy up luxury suites (and getting a tax break doing so) or enough rich individuals to pay for the most expensive seats in the house.

    Here is a truncated list of the largest US TV markets:

    1 New York
    2 Los Angeles
    3 Chicago
    4 Philadelphia
    5 Dallas-Ft. Worth

    [b]20 Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto [/b]
    21 St. Louis (NFL, MLB and NHL)
    22 Portland, OR (NBA)
    23 Pittsburgh (NFL and MLB)
    24 Charlotte, NC (NFL, NHL and MLB)
    25 Indianapolis (NFL and NBA)
    26 Baltimore (NFL and MLB)
    28 San Diego (NFL and MLB)
    29 Nashville (NFL and NHL)
    31 Kansas City (NFL and MLB)
    32 Columbus, OH (NHL)
    33 Salt Lake City (NBA)
    34 Cincinnati (NFL and MLB)
    35 Milwaukee (NBA and MLB)
    37 San Antonio (NBA)

    [b]53 New Orleans (NFL and NBA)[/b]
    54 Wilkes Barre-Scranton
    55 Fresno-Visalia
    56 Little Rock-Pine Bluff
    57 Albany-Schenectady-Troy
    58 Richmond-Petersburg
    59 Knoxville
    60 Mobile-Pensacola

  14. rusty49

    “I like the idea of a tax on entertainment, at the theater, in bars and restaurants in sacramento and all surrounding counties to fund a new arena and the public part of the financing.”

    Let’s tax everything we do, every aspect of our lives.

  15. Sue Greenwald

    Envision this possibility: The oversight committee that of a successor agency the RDA (the plan the legislator hopes to implement) votes to take Davis RDA money and redirect it to Sacramento or West Sacramento for a stadium.

  16. Rifkin

    [i]”… Chris Webber, established himself as one of the worst big game players in the history of professional sports.”[/i]

    Really? Webber led his badly coached and very young Michigan teams to the national championship game twice in two years, going 10-2 in the NCAA tournament, all big games, all single elimination games, and that makes him the worst player in the history of pro sports in big games? Do you even know what his stat lines were in those two losses? (He led all teams in scoring and rebounds despite the fact that Michigan lost both games.)

    In the history of the NBA, going back to the 1946-47 season, there have been just 8 players who averaged as many points, rebounds and assists in the playoffs (18.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 3.6 AG) as Webber did. That does not strike me as the record of someone who did not show up when the games counted the most:

    1 Elgin Baylor* 27.0 PPG — 12.9 RPG — 4.0 AG
    2 Larry Bird* 23.8 PPG — 10.3 RPG — 6.5 AG
    3 Charles Barkley* 23.0 PPG — 12.9 RPG — 3.9 AG
    4 Wilt Chamberlain* 22.5 PPG — 24.5 RPG — 4.2 AG
    5 Kevin Garnett19.9 PPG — 11.2 RPG — 4.0 AG
    6 Connie Hawkins* 19.3 PPG — 11.4 RPG — 4.8 AG
    7 Dave Cowens* 18.9 PPG — 14.4 RPG — 3.7 AG
    8 Chris Webber 18.7 PPG — 8.7 RPG — 3.6 AG

    *Hall of Famer

  17. Sue Greenwald

    After further thought, I don’t think the nightmare scenario concerning the Davis RDA would transpire, since the terms of our bonds contractually obligate us to use the funds in the RDA district.

  18. Sue Greenwald

    Tax and fine ourselves for $175 million dollars for a new Yolo County courthouse in Woodland (with the title beautiful existing building just signed over to the county) and new sports stadium in Sacramento or West Sacramento — I guess we can see where the priorities are in times of hardship.

  19. Don Shor

    Sue: [i]Envision this possibility: The oversight committee that of a successor agency the RDA (the plan the legislator hopes to implement) votes to take Davis RDA money and redirect it to Sacramento or West Sacramento for a stadium. [/i]

    If Davis simply abolished its RDA and redirected that tax increment money into the general fund, there would be no risk of that.

  20. Sue Greenwald

    I don’t know what’s happening to my always weak proof reading abilities today.

    I meant to point out that we are paying for a $175 million new Taj Mahal courthouse in Woodland with high fees on our traffic and parking tickets, and now some are proposing that we pay who-knows-how-many millions for a new stadium in Sacramento or West Sacramento in a time of extraordinary fiscal hardship.

  21. Sue Greenwald

    [quote]If Davis simply abolished its RDA and redirected that tax increment money into the general fund, there would be no risk of that. — Don Shor[/quote]This can’t be done for a number of technical reasons, but the amount of dollars we are talking about in the RDA at this point is a tiny fraction of the price tag on the new Woodland county courthouse and the stadium.

  22. Mr.Toad

    “I do not often agree with Mr. Saylor, but if indeed we would bring in nearly 5000 new jobs to construct a new arena, and those are the type of projects that you live for in economic hardships because they are well-paying construction jobs, I think you have to at least examine the possibilities.”

    Yes let’s build it on the site of the new courthouse or the Conagra site and bring in all those construction jobs. Oh wait those projects will already bring in construction jobs.

  23. davehart

    So, Rich Rifkin thinks maybe it’s worth a tax to finance the King’s stay so we’ll all feel better…when they win. I don’t believe what I’m hearing here. If professional sports are a “business” why do they need any help at all? I’d be more willing to shore up Don’s nursery (sorry, couldn’t resist) before I’d give a penny to the Maloofs.

  24. J.R.

    Sports teams contribute nothing to an economy, contrary to the laughable claims made by some here.

    Any money generated by spending on a team and related items is money not spent on other items, whether theater, concerts, movies etc. Nothing is produced regionally by sports teams, and no net increase in the region’s economy results. Within the region Yolo county is a net loser, as its residents spend money in Sacramento that might otherwise go to local restaurants and entertainment venues.

    And by the way: asking for a tax on the general public for the benefit of your own entertainment preference is the height of selfishness.

    There is only one tax that makes sense for this – tax the basketball tickets sold by the team if you want a tax to subsidize basketball.

  25. Dr. Wu

    Rich:

    On C Webb, here is what Bill Simmons (who I don’t always agree with) has to say:

    “”Webber officially grabbed the torch from Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Ralph Sampson and Elvin Hayes as ‘The High-Priced Superstar Who’s Great to Have on Your Team Unless There’s Three Minutes Left in a Big Game.’ None of this was really a surprise, but watching C-Webb figure out ways to eradicate himself from crunch-time possessions was the most intriguing subplot of the playoffs. Didn’t it crack you up when Webber would receive a high-post pass, spin 180 degrees so his back could face the basket — Don’t worry, I’m not shooting, have no fear! — then desperately look to shuffle the basketball to the nearest available King? Has anyone even played Hot Potato to that degree? Even back in college, Webber was pulling this stuff; Jalen Rose probably took 90 percent of the big shots during the Fab Five era. It’s almost unprecedented.”

    Or more succinctly:

    “But here’s what we do know: Chris Webber never took over a big game when it truly mattered, even if he had the talent to do so. That’s his legacy.”

    Mike Bibby, the third (maybe fourth if you liked Vlade) best player on the Kings was their go to guy in the clutch. No one would ever say that about Jordan, Bird, Magic, Kobe, etc. Webber had the talent–but he choked in the clutch (reminds me of Andy Murray in tennis).

    Does that matter? Yes. Green Bay maybe small but has a history of winning. The Kings have a history of not living up to expectations when they had serious talent–that is part of the reason why they are leaving

    On MSAs–give me a break. Sac may have a larger population than St Louis but we live 90 minutes away from San Francisco and less than that to Oakland. You have to drive hours and hours from St Louis to get anywhere…and then you’re in Kansas City or some other podunk place. Chicago is far away and a different world (for those of us who know St Louis).

    Regardless, I think subsidizing professional sports teams is one of the stupidest ideas around, especially when we have aging schools and roads.

  26. medwoman

    I am having a difficult time understanding how, in a time when people are hotly debating whether we can afford to be taxed more to support schools and our water supply, anyone would even suggest that we should be taxed to support a billionaire owned sports team. If we need to “feel good” about something as a community, how about the best opportunities for our kids!

  27. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t know that anyone is actually proposing taxes. But the question is how many jobs does this produce regionally? How much does it help the economy to have the Kings in Sacramento? Maybe it doesn’t.

  28. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “I don’t know that anyone is actually proposing taxes. But the question is how many jobs does this produce regionally? How much does it help the economy to have the Kings in Sacramento? Maybe it doesn’t.”

    Now you’ve got it!

  29. Rifkin

    [i]”So, Rich Rifkin thinks maybe it’s worth a tax to finance the King’s stay so we’ll all feel better…when they win. I don’t believe what I’m hearing here. If professional sports are a “business” why do they need any help at all?”[/i]

    I am philosphically against subsidizing a private business, Dave. But you have to understand the context of how the game is played across North American–every team is getting subsidized for their arenas or stadiums. So if we don’t play the game, we just won’t have pro sports. That may be fine with you or with most people. I am not arguing that. All I am saying is that if you say the team needs to build its own facility, we won’t have a team in our region.

    And I also believe, with good reason, that a pro sports team can bring value to a region which other ventures do not. You don’t seem to have any facts to quibble with either of those points.

  30. Rifkin

    [i]”here is what Bill Simmons (who I don’t always agree with) has to say:”[/i]

    I like Bill. He and I have a few friends in common. (Bill was a writer for one season on JKL, where a couple of my college friends still are writers.) But his argument, which you append above, is not rational. It’s simply a perception, not backed by any hard evidence. The hardest evidence suggests Webber played very well in big games, and that’s not surprising, because he was a very good player.

  31. Matt Rexroad

    How many game winning shots did Webber make in his NBA career?

    The total I remember when he left the Kings was ONE.

    When the game is on the line you don’t put the ball in his hands.

  32. wesley506

    A January 2010 analysis by the Capitol PFG group estimated that a building a arena would cost $300 million and generate 2130 direct and 1590 indirect jobs during construction for a total of 3720, NOT 4700 as Don would have us believe.

  33. Rifkin

    [i]”How many game winning shots did Webber make in his NBA career?”[/i]

    One million.

    Here is one of them ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upXGXS0HwTc[/url]). Here is another ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32OwsSuoaXs&feature=related[/url]). Here is a third ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P5anCPuhjY&feature=related[/url]). Here is a fourth ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-xiCCOCKZw&feature=related[/url]). Here is a fifth ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2a5vHl571U&feature=related[/url]).

    [i]”The total I remember when he left the Kings was ONE.”[/i]

    Kids, please, don’t smoke copious amounts of cannabis. It harms your hippocampus, causing you to forget many things you should know.

    [img]http://sciencealive.wikispaces.com/file/view/Brain(memory.gif/30514827/Brain(memory.gif[/img]

    By the way … Kobe Bryant is thought of as one of the great clutch basketball players of all time, hitting many winning shots at the end of games. The problem is, though, Kobe shoots very poorly in the last minute of games. He is one of the worst of all time. Yet he is widely remembered for hitting a lot of clutch shots. Why the disconnect? Because he takes so many damn shots at the end of games.

    Source ([url]http://bleacherreport.com/articles/645038-la-lakers-does-kobe-bryants-clutch-shooting-excuse-his-poor-shot-selection[/url]): [quote]Bryant has connected on 25 percent of game-winning shots he has attempted in his career, but as his detractors are quick to note, that also means that [b]he has missed 75 percent of the shots he has taken in that situation[/b].[/quote]

    [img]http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2009/06/10/2009325126.jpg[/img]

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