I realize Monday Night Football just kicked up and all, but perhaps it's time to look to the future in Basketball. Specifically the case of one team that needs a government hand out.
The city has negotiated a short-term deal to keep the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, a pact that provides the franchise $33.5 million over three seasons.I guess one could argue that sports are an extremely important aspect of society that have been around for thousands of years. Having a team for a city to identify with is important for the collective mind of the masses and it also dulls them from caring about the real issues. On the other hand, Indiana could fall into the earth and no one would give a shit.
That includes $10 million per year for Conseco Fieldhouse operating expenses. The city also agreed to provide at least $3.5 million but not more than $8.2 million for capital improvements at the nearly 11-year-old venue, according to a summary of the deal provided to IBJ.
The $10-million-a-year subsidy falls short of what the NBA franchise had sought. The Pacers had wanted the city’s Capital Improvement Board to take over $15 million in annual fieldhouse operating expenses.
The deal requires that the Pacers continue to play their home games in Conseco Fieldhouse for the next three years. It also stipulates that the team cannot terminate its 1999 fieldhouse lease during that time.
After three years, the team could leave if annual losses exceed $2 million, as already permitted under the 1999 agreement. But it would have to repay a portion of the $30 million, plus pay a multi-million-dollar lease-termination fee spelled out in the original lease. The portion of the $30 million the team would have to repay would decline annually until the lease expires in 2019. At that point, the team would not have to repay any of the subsidy.
What ever happened to the free market? Maybe this franchise is running a bad business venture and should be closed. I mean, it'd be one thing if they were subsidizing football or baseball, but spending my money on fucking basketball? I should just write a blog entry blaming this on Obama right now.
I realize that conservatives will support job-creating programs and government funding of infrastructure so long as those jobs allow them to indulge their capitalism fantasies, as well as supporting a gentrifying tourism industry, but let's be real, tourism in Indiana? Ha! Don't make me laugh. Nothing like tourist looking at farms, some flat featureless land, and a bunch of angry white people. Honey, honey! Take my picture in front of the closed down Rye factory.
Indiana, a state so shitty even the gathering of the Juggalos won't go there.
But back to the publicly subsidized but privately-owned sports stadiums that are one of the biggest wastes of money, so naturally the media often pretends they don't exist. I guess I just don't understand what argument could possibly be made for subsidizing a sports stadium at this point.
Franchises that deeply-routed in these metro areas aren't going to just pack up and leave, hoping that they can replicate the same success and fan base in a smaller, less populated area, now can they? Both the New York Stadium and Citi Field got a lot of public financing for franchises that are among the most profitable in baseball. It's pretty laughable to think that they were going to ever attempt to move anywhere else.
It boggles my mind that cities fund stadiums for private teams, especially when there's already a competitive, publicly-owned professional sports team in the Green Bay Packers. And let's face it - the Packers are awesome. The Packers model rules, though I have to say that Packers fans are psychos
But then again, like any true socialist state, the packers are one of the financially weakest teams in the league despite having the most NFL Championships and Super Bowls combined in any league team. In addition, there used to be a bunch of small town teams like the Packers but they went bankrupt in the 20's and 30's. So really, the fact that the Packers are still kicking says a lot about how to make it work without a bail out.
When it comes to most accessible, you have to give Basketball credit. Basketball is the most proletariat sport that Americans will ever embrace. With other sports, baseball, football, hockey for example, a good deal of equipment is required. Helmets, pads, you know. Hockey even requires ice! Which is generally always manufactured. As such, pretty much the only opportunity a kid has to practice a lot with all that equipment is being in a league.
How do they do that? They have to have been part of a league when they were younger, and one before that when they were younger still, going all the way back to when they were first picked for peewee because they were born closest to their age group's cutoff date and had a slight advantage over their peers in size, speed, stamina, through no faults or intentions of their own, just because they were a tab bit older.
No, you see Basketball is the great equalizer. It doesn't really require any padding or Allah forbid ice, all it requires is a ball and a net. You don't even have to have two! And even most strapped for cash counties and municipalities and schools and neighborhoods can afford a net. Even if they can't, they at least have the rim.
But these kids can makeshift their own court, spend a few bucks on a ball and just practice in shorts and a tee shirt. Half the time one team doesn't even wear them. This is why basketball is like the go-to key to success for poor Black kids. If you don't like basketball, you're probably a racist.
In looking at it like that, maybe we should subsidize professional basketball teams. They are, after all, the only possible way for inner city kids to get out of that situation.