An new opinion piece on Bloomberg.com is a must-read for any arena skeptic in Sacramento. Titled “Sacramento Is Fresh Victim of Bad Stadium Deals”, it masterfully captures everything that worried this blogger in ways I could only one day hope to be able to achieve. Some choice bits:
“…The story in California’s capital, a city of 2 million with a perennial inferiority complex borne of being overshadowed by the Los Angeles and Bay Area media markets, is not about the details of the deal or the wiles of mercurial owners of National Basketball Association teams. It’s about the foolishness of city officials who pin urban renewal hopes and taxpayer dollars on sports complexes despite the public’s declining willingness to pony up the cash…”
“…These deals are not about economic growth, but civic pride. Last year, after the Maloofs announced their planned move to Anaheim, in Southern California, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson talked about the need to keep the franchise to help Sacramento become a “world-class city.” But as I wrote in a column in the Sacramento Bee at the time, “Second-tier cities believe that professional sports put them on the map, although all they do is provide some unexceptional entertainment and enrich team owners, who cleverly manipulate the local inferiority complex to gain arena subsidies…”
“…Sacramento officials spent their time and squandered taxpayer money on such dreams, while neglecting the nitty- gritty of municipal government — a negligence that shows throughout city neighborhoods… Perhaps city officials everywhere will always be lured by the promises of big-league sports franchises. In that case, public skepticism is the best way to keep taxpayer dollars safe…”
Read the clever article for yourself by clicking here.