(Nov. 26) – The owners of the Calgary Flames haven’t been too aggressive with their hopes for a new arena, beyond occasionally griping about their old one. That all changed yesterday, though, thanks to a major package of articles in the Calgary Herald describing how:
- Flames CEO Ken King “could be within weeks of announcing their vision” for a new arena
- The arena will almost certainly require, in King’s words, “some sort of public-private” funding scheme.
- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city council are vehemently opposed to giving King any cash, though some on the council may be open to providing free land.
According to the Herald, the arena talks have been going on for three years, if by “talks” you mean “the Flames owner asking for money, and city officials telling him to get lost.” More
Source: Field of Schemes
Taxpayers face major cuts to their negotiated benefits yet remain on the hook for a $283 million gaudy new arena in the bankrupt city DAVID SIROTA
Salon (July 24) – As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.
Detroit this week became the most prominent example of this trend. Officials in the financially devastated city announced that their plan to slash public workers’ pension benefits will move forward. On the same day, the billionaire owners of the Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family, unveiled details of an already approved taxpayer-financed stadium for the professional hockey team.
Rogers Sportsnet is blowing its horn. “Our own Damien Cox,” it reported tonight, to paraphrase, has the scoop on the appointment of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s (MLSE) new president, Brendan Shanahan. The NHL executive is further being called “the former Olympic champion.” Damien Cox is a Toronto Star columnist and a regular on PrimeTimeSports.
How do journalistic scoops and exclusives work these days? A few days ago, we blew the whistle on W5’s “scoop” on the Canadian Special Forces operating in West Africa, which was actually arranged by the Department of National Defence. Rogers owns 50 per cent of MLSE and a new $5 billion contract for TV rights to Canadian NHL games. Does one think this “exclusive” non-story was going to be leaked from the boardroom of the MLSE empire to the CBC? Continue reading
Campus of the Olympic University in Sochi | © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Mokrushin
SOCHI, February 20 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) – THE 15-story glass tower that houses the Olympic University in Sochi has the eerie vibe of a high-budget pandemic thriller: immaculately clean and completely deserted.
Normal life should resume when students return from the Olympic venues where they are interning. But their numbers will still average about two people per floor. Continue reading
Throughout Canada and the U.S., rich monopoly owners of professional sports franchises are demanding new arenas and stadia or “modernization” of existing venues with funds from the public treasury. This drive is part of the neo-liberal, anti-social offensive that forms the agenda of the state. Funding is often cut for parks, libraries and amateur sport facilities – under the pretext of “creating jobs” or boosterism in “public-private partnerships” – so that these P-3 facilities may be used for private gain. The following article by Neil deMause, author of the Field of Schemes and a website by the same name, examines how U.S. teams like the Phoenix Coyotes, Indiana Pacers, and Atlanta Falcons have extracted sweetheart leases that pay them millions of dollars a year in public “operating subsidies” even as their host cities slash public services and raise taxes. Continue reading
By MAX J. CASTRO, Progresso Weekly
Field of schemes: finance capital, which lent $500 million to Miami Dade County to finance the white elephant, take the people to the cleaners in a deal brokered by Jeffrey Loria – the same ”art dealer” who snookered the Montreal Expos for a song.
MIAMI – “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” So goes the saying once famously mangled by George W. Bush. But what do you say when you are fooled not twice but thrice? Forget it, Jake, this is Miami?
I had to resort to fiddling with a memorable line from Roman Polanski’s classic movie Chinatown because popular adages don’t even cover the level of foolhardiness Miami baseball fans, public officials, and community boosters have displayed over the last fifteen years where the Marlins are concerned.