thrown at professional sports is outrageous
November 21, 2008 | I am an avid NBA and NFL fan, but
who isn't, right? I go see the Jazz play whenever I
can, and I spend countless hours on the couch on Sunday
watching football. I join fantasy leagues in both and
spend whatever free time I have tracking my favorite
players and building dominant fantasy teams.
Over the years it has only bothered me slightly how
much money goes into something that is so inconsequential.
Especially at a time like this when there isn't exactly
a shortage of important things to spend money on.
Did you know that the average professional athlete
makes anywhere from $200,000 to $1.2 million a year?
Take into consideration that some of the perennial superstars
make more like $50 to $100 million a year as well. How
many people could afford better lives with even a small
fraction of that money?
It isn't just the teams that are paying these players
either. Most of the highest paid athletes make the bulk
of their money from endorsements. Companies all over
the world pay these celebrities just to put their name,
or face, on a product. Millions, even billions, of dollars
are spent each year to athletes when they star in commercials
or wear a certain brand.
What slays me the most is when I see people like Terrell
Owens of Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson holding out, or complaining
about the millions they make not being enough. The audacity
of athletes to come back and complain about contracts
that they have already signed doesn't sit well with
Sometimes complaints about money get so out of control
that the entire league will band together and strike.
They shut down the season and don't play the games because
these prima donnas want to buy a few more fancy imports.
Could you imagine if teachers across the whole country
just refused to go to school and teach if they didn't
get paid more? Cancel school for the year and say to
hell with education. The idea is inconceivable.
But we [they] continue to give them there every demand
as if life will not go on if we can't watch baseball
for a couple of months. If it were up to me, at the
time of strike I would pick up all the minor league
players and ex-college players that are willing to play
for less just because they love the game. Show the stars
a thing or two.
So, we know that athletes are overpaid. What about
the building they play in? No need to wonder why tickets
to sporting events cost $35 for the bad seats when you
consider that the new Oklahoma Thunder's arena costs
$500 million. This is not even the most expensive of
stadiums, not even close. In New York, where they already
had perfectly functional stadiums, they built a new
Yankee Stadium and Citi Field for the Mets at a cost
of $1.3 billion a piece. All three of the aforementioned
facilities are being built right now, or just finished
being built. No wonder why the economy is struggling.
Unreal amounts of money are being poured into the entertainment
industry. Use some of that money to fund the banks that
are going to collapse in the near future.
Numbers at this point are just estimated, but taxpayers
in the greater New York area will cover upwards of $300
million just to build each stadium, not to mention transportation
taxes that they will also be forced to cover.
Forced is probably the wrong word as voters were given
the option to build it or not. The craziest thing is
that after residents in these areas pay taxes to cover
most of the stadium, they will still have to pay large
sums of money to go and watch these teams play. Even
more money sent the way of the players and teams. As
long as fans are willing to pay big money to attend
games and voters continue to support the proposals,
they will continue to rebuild or upgrade sports venues.
These are not the only facilities to be built in the
near future. Los Angeles Football Stadium is supposed
to be finished by 2011, the cost: a mere $800 million,
which is actually substantially lower than the cost
of most football stadiums. No way to know when the onslaught
will cease, but the outlook is bleak.
Unless the last thing you want to do before China
takes over our country is watch Monday Night Football,
then get up and do something about it.