Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I live just outside Sacramento, California, and Sacramento has one major league sports team, the Sacramento Kings of the NBA. Their arena has been open since the 1980s, and the team wants a new arena (built at taxpayer expense, of course) with more seats and more high priced boxes for people crazy enough to pay for them. The team asked for money from the city sometime in the 1990s, and over the objections of most of the citizen, the city loaned the team $70 million, which is slowly being repaid. The owners are the Maloof brothers, who "earned" their millions or billions from casinos in Las Vegas. The city has tried to build a new arena, but like most cities now there is just no money. The city asked the voters in 2006 to raise taxes for a new arena and the citizens had the wisdom to overwhelmingly vote no. And the citizens were dumb enough to elect Kevin Johnson, a local man who formerly played in the NBA, mayor a few years ago. (What is it with Californians that so many will elect movie "stars" such as Reagan or Schwarzenegger (however that is spelled) to elected office?) So now the Maloofs are working to move the team to Anaheim. Billboards have sprung up saying "Game over?" with a photo of a partially deflated basketball. I say let them go. The city has spend way too much time and money trying to build an arena for a team that won't finance an arena themselves. And I can't count how many players and coaches have been arrested for domestic violence, drunk driving, weapons violations, etc. I would really like to get rid of all professional sports. They just seem to be a way to give people entertainment to distract them from important issues that should be dealt with.