Two seemingly unconnected articles appeared on AZC this week that I believe actually have some commonality. The first was the latest on the financial woes of “Glendale’s” hockey team and stadium. Thank goodness Scottsdale didn’t get saddled with that…though SkySong hasn’t proven to be much better from a financial standpoint.
The second article is about Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn campus expansion. While, a) the plans remain nebulous, and b) I’ve beaten this horse a lot in the past, I think it bears a revisit–especially since AZC is rehashing it. I wonder if they aren’t responding to some pre-outrage press release from SHC?
So, you ask, what do they have in common? Massive public subsidy. I won’t regurgitate the comment I posted on the SHC article regarding the enormous zoning concession SHC got from the Scottsdale City Council. However, there’s a comment from “J Schwendler” on the Coyotes article that bears reprinting. Mr. Schwendler’s remarks pretty much mirror my own feelings about sports-related businesses receiving welfare from the taxpayers. However, as you read his comment keep in mind that SHC, too, is a private business. You certainly can argue the “public benefit” of a hospital…probably much better than that of a private sports team facility. However, the principle remains the same.
All sports franchises are bought by individuals. This makes them private businesses. Joe’s Flower Shop down the street is also a private business. There was no request from Joe for the public to help him establish his business, was there?
Seems to me and probably a lot of other folks that if a person or group of investors can pony up the millions necessary to purchase a sports franchise, they can also arrange their own funding, i.e. a loan from a bank or banks that they alone are responsible for. Fans lose their minds and all common sense when supporting “their” team, and have zero problem dipping into their wallet to help an already incredibly rich owner out.
Imagine the status of AZ education, had voters used their brains to say no to the Colangelos and Bidwills of this world, and instead poured that money into schools, proper teacher salaries, better facilities, updated technology, etc. One billion dollars to pay for spoiled overpaid athletes’ playpens in this county since 1990.
These rich people have no intention of using any more of their own money than they have to. They know all they have to do is tap into the fan base with some plea, and the pockets will open up. Imagine how much better off this county would be if we had no pro sports franchises to call our “own”, and instead had poured that money into where it would have done the most good. Imagine.