April 6 - April 12, 1995

Take Us Out Of The Ballpark

WE'VE GOT POLITICAL pork, bureaucrat pork and lawyer pork. Now we bring you sports pork.

Which is the only way we can describe the half-assed notion that we, the taxpayer, must subsidize major sporting events by building stadiums for private interests who are making big profits...or hope to.

We've seen all the phony arguments about how we make out because so many turistas come along and spend big bucks, but we've never had anybody prove these phony numbers. Particularly now that baseball is losing allure as an investment--the value of a major franchise has declined by about 25 percent since the strike hit, according to Crain's Chicago Business News.

For example, they keep claiming the proposed baseball stadium some deadhead local pols promised to build for the Colorado Rockies will generate $100,000,000 a year in six weeks of spring training. Bullshit. Prove it.

But we have noticed a couple things that should go along to helping anybody undecided on this issue. First, that whenever the concept of socialized baseball and welfare for jock owners takes a hit in the media, the good old Tucson Citizen can be counted on to run a big slobbering puff piece. This was the case on March 31 when the afternoon rag gave the baseball complex a Page One headline.

Guess it takes us to remind you that Citizen head honcho Don Hatfield is a member of the same Southern Arizona Sports Development Corp., the group shilling for the stadium.

And on a final note, as The Weekly pointed out last week, we are right now swarming with lady bowlers--thousands of them. We're told the ladies bowling tournament currently under way draws more people to town than anything else except the gem and mineral show. Which means it clearly exceeds whatever we get from the Rockies.

Did we all have to cough up and build them municipal bowling lanes? Has the taxpayer been asked to subsidize this event with much of anything? Is bowling replacing baseball as the national pastime?

How about we dump all the people on that sports development group and replace them with lady bowlers. They're clearly more competent.

--Emil Franzi

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April 6 - April 12, 1995

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