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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Sport Of Socialistic Capitalism

Badda-Bing!  Mike Ilitch

Detroit Scam City: How The Red Wings Took Hockeytown For All It Had
...Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian bought the Red Wings for $8 million in 1982. Last November, Forbes ranked the team as the ninth-most valuable NHL franchise, at $470 million. The previous July, just a week after the Motor City declared for bankruptcy, it was announced the public would cover nearly 60 percent of the cost for the team's new $450 million, 18,000-seat arena.

The Wings have played at Joe Louis Arena, on the Detroit River, since 1979. What it lacks in modern amenities—a comically large jumbotron, cup holders, abundant restrooms, hand railings—it makes up for in charm. The Joe is a dump, diehard fans will tell you, but it's our dump. 

Now the storied franchise is headed due north, where it will set up shop between the downtown core and rapidly developing Midtown neighborhood in a roughly 45-block footprint unimaginatively billed as the "arena and entertainment district." The total price tag, including additional private investments in retail and housing, is an estimated $650 million, $284.5 million of which will come in the form of public investment.

No money will come directly from the city's general fund—something advocates of the deal are quick to point out—but instead the bulk of public funding will come by way of tax increment financing (TIF). Taxes captured in the 615-acre Downtown Development Authority (DDA) district will be poured into the project. The Michigan Strategic Fund, a state economic development agency, will issue 30-year tax-exempt bonds backed by three revenue streams: The aforementioned TIF capture, various other tax revenues from the DDA and Olympia Development, the Ilitch's $2 billion enterprise...
In the old days, there were no such lavish government subsidies for sports teams. Teams had to make it on their own. If the owners threatened to leave, then the cities bid them farewell, for it was a time of growth when the attention of the populace was on real events that gave real value to their lives.

Very often now we fill out lives with the dregs of Entertainments... which surprisingly enough, we help fund, for what public money is not taken from us to finance wealthy sports owners, could have been spent on ways to benefit our lives - for it is public money!

We wander.

There is more:
... Orlando is set to get a Major League Soccer franchise, and when the owners lobbied for a new stadium last August, Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke proposed a deal that echoed Kucinich's approach: In exchange for $20 million to fund your new soccer stadium, the taxpayers get a stake in the team...
Ah! The State will own (at least have a minority stake in) the means of entertainment production.
What would Marx think?

Tolle, lege, tunc illacrimate 
omnes pauperi in hoc saeculo 
proximo novi et infelices! 

Take up and read, then all of you weep
together, you newly poor and unhappy
people in this most recent time!


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