Kings con

We can expect the cost of a Kings game to drop dramatically as soon as the team’s government subsidy is approved. The exorbitant ticket price and outrageous parking charge are sure to come down. It would only be fair.

The team owners and players, multimillionaires for the most part, will be the beneficiaries of more of our money when the new arena is built, and they’ll certainly return the favor. The Kings don’t want to play in the free-enterprise arena and build their own; they’d prefer to get some corporate welfare worth hundreds of millions (see “They play, you pay”). Because their incomes will increase with the addition of more luxury boxes, we’re sure to see big discounts on tickets, parking and beers. No?

Billions of taxpayer dollars have gone directly to build the ballparks, stadiums and arenas in America. Yet still more billions—harder to find and see—have gone to sports millionaires in the form of subsidies such as tax-free municipal bonds, lost tax revenues not paid on facilities, retirement of debt, and free infrastructure improvements—all taxpayer dollars placed at risk if the venture fails.

For some reason, professional-sports-franchise owners have no problem with government interference in their business … if they need a building to work in. Most companies in Sacramento have to build or lease space to do business; they probably need to know more politicians or their lobbyists.

Professional sports teams have been getting government subsidies for decades, and I can’t understand why. It could have something to do with the politicians who are the other ones to benefit. Sports in the United States are wildly popular, and which politician wouldn’t want to cuddle up to powerful team owners and then take credit for a shiny new edifice? The real question is: Which one will take credit when the taxpayers get soaked?