Dear Professional Sports Team Owners, Stop Holding Your Cities Hostage

Dear Professional Sports Team Owners, Stop Holding Your Cities Hostage

Trying to extract a ransom to build an extravagant stadium is to the detriment of your fans. Build your own stadium.

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Relocation seems to be part and parcel of the sports world here in America. Many teams over the years have relocated; many of the original NBA franchises relocated, many baseball franchises, as well as hockey franchises. Football has a couple of infamous ones; the Colts and the Ravens, both of whom were essentially stolen overnight. Now, there are many reasons why teams may relocate, some of them justifiable. Fan interest may be low, there may be little incentive to invest in the franchise, etcetera. However, one of the most abhorrent and deplorable reasons for moving a team? Not being able to subsidize a stadium, and forcing the onus onto the cities they reside in. This is wrong for many, many reasons.

For one, cities have other, more pressing reasons to provide money to projects. Other projects will spur economic growth better in the long term and are less risky since the sports franchises are volatile and subject to change depending on team performance. There are more important public services that cities also provide; funding for infrastructure, law enforcement, utilities, and neighborhood-based investments such as community centers and parks. All of this far more important than a sports stadium, especially in cities where no space may be present. This is part of why the city of St. Louis vetoed a proposal to construct a new stadium utilizing sales taxes; the citizens didn't feel that money should be allocated towards it.

Another issue is that the economics surrounding stadiums is shaking at best. Many economists agree that the relative benefits are outweighed by any potential costs. Take football stadiums; these are used for, usually, some preseason games, 8 regular season games, then maybe playoff games, if the team possesses the talent. That does not sound like a phenomenal return on investment. Other stadiums, like basketball and hockey stadiums, may be able to host other events, but this may depend on the market. If you're, say, the Warriors, the Oracle may not be the primary venue, considering that San Francisco is a big (and noteworthy) bridge away. Other cities may be passed over entirely. Now, the owners may see this risk and try to compel the city to pay to erect the stadium... but why would they take the risk on a set of individuals whose main priority is to amass wealth?

Third; most of these owners could gladly afford the construction of a new stadium if need be. Let's take a more recent case as an example; Anthony Precourt. The current owner of the Columbus Crew inserted a provision into his contract that allowed the team to be moved to Austin, and would gladly subsidize the construction of it, even if it was far away from his preferred "downtown Austin." Columbus? Is not afforded that same leniency or privilege. They are required to fund the construction of his vision, even if the stadium they currently have is a measly 4.1 miles from downtown Columbus. The St. Louis project easily could have gone through, since the owners had already put up most of the money. It is pathetic to force a city to turn to their coffers to benefit the pockets of the franchise's owners when those same owners could easily afford to either subsidize the construction of the stadium.

We have seen what happens to cities who do not capitulate, do not acquiesce to the demands of these franchises. Cities that were hamstrung by investments into existing sports stadiums, like Seattle, could only watch as the beloved and adored Supersonics departed for Oklahoma City. The Quebec Nordiques packed up quickly and left for Denver. The Grizzlies and San Jose Earthquakes both left their cities of origin behind, though San Jose was granted a team in the future. Even San Diego, the home of the Chargers essentially since its' inception, bolted for LA. Other cities averted catastrophes; the Kings managed to remain in Sacramento, and AFC Wimbledon was revived soon after their beloved team was moved to Milton Keynes, a move forever derided by soccer fans. Look, I know these are expensive ventures and undertakings.

However, leaving cities to pay the bill via taxes, only for them to be constantly and incessantly threatened, is not a good strategy. Citizens should not have to suffer through needless taxes so a team can go 28-54, while their infrastructure and social programs go unfunded.

Save The Crew. Build YOUR OWN stadium, Precourt.

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Top 20 Hottest NHL Players

Whoever said hockey players weren't hot?
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Hockey is my favorite sport. I grew up in a Chicago suburb where hockey fans run wild, so it is literally impossible to grow up here and not be an NHL fan. For some reason, it seems to be believed that hockey players are all ugly with missing teeth, and I could not disagree more. Here is my pick for the 20 hottest players in the NHL.

20. Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens

Maybe all of the hours I spent studying French weren't a waste, off to Montreal!

19. Alex Wennburg, Columbus Blue Jackets

He has the power to make the whole world believe in love at first sight.

18. Alec Martinez, Los Angeles Kings

Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, whatever you know the song, call me!

17. John Tavares, New York Islanders

The Islanders did not waste their first overall draft pick in 2009 in the looks (and skills) department.

16. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

Is it just me or does he look like a Disney Prince?

15. Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

Bonus: He admitted to watching "Pretty Little Liars" with his wife, so he's basically perfect.

14. T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals

If pictures of him holding his daughter Lyla doesn't steal your heart I don't know what will.

13. Beau Bennett, Pittsburgh Penguins

All-American looks, all-American charm.

12. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

There's some beauty behind that goalie mask for the 2015 NHL MVP.

11. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Remember the boy you were told to stay away from in high school but you couldn't because he was so magnetic? That's Patrick Kane for you.

10. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

If you don't already have a hot dad crush, this isn't a bad one to start with.

9. Trevor Van Riemsdyk, Chicago Blackhawks

Bonus: He's only 24 and single.

8. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

His gelled back hair *heart eye emoji*.

7. Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks

Whoever said Russian guys weren't hot?

6. Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

I'm usually not one for a lot of tattoos and like to think I'm done with my "bad boy" phase, but Tyler changes it all.

5. Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks

Usually isn't considered one of the better looking players, yet I disagree entirely.

4. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

If all guys in Sweden look like this book me a ticket ASAP.

3. Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets

Sexiest eyes in the NHL, and his smile doesn't hurt either.

2. Patrick Sharp, Dallas Stars

There isn't such thing as a hot hockey player list without Patrick Sharp in the top five.

1. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Great player, great captain, great person, great looking; everything you can want in a hockey player.



Cover Image Credit: Dallas Stars

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Due To The Achilles Injury That Kevin Durant Has Sustained, This Will Affect His Free Agency And Game

What is next for one of the greatest players in NBA history?

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Let me start this article off by saying that I am not a Golden State Warriors fan. I am not a Kevin Durant fan, and I have not been since he left the OKC Thunder in 2016. I have an always have been an OKC fan and yes I hated Kevin Durant with such a passion. That is until Monday, June 10th. That is the day when I saw the toll being an NBA player takes on the humans that play the game. Each decision they make is judged so harshly that even if they get injured, the fault has to fall on someone, even if no one is to blame.

Game 5 showed us that Kevin Durant is very much human and clearly understands that. I have no respect for the Raptors fans who started cheering when he fell to the floor clutching his Achilles. As a fan base, I understand the stakes of the game but that doesn't make it ok to cheer when a player might be out for the rest of the series. That is a reflection I know the Raptors or the NBA don't want.

The NBA is a business and the reaction of these fans makes it seem like it's all about the completion and nothing about the game that has changed and affected so many people's lives. It also makes it seem like the fans do not show empathy for anything but the win and that the players must do everything to get the win.

As for Kevin Durant's future, it is up in doubt because an Achilles Tear has been a devastating injury to players in the past. The Achilles is the biggest tendon in the body and tearing such an integral component will clearly rob KD of the some of the length and athleticism he plays with because the surgery and the rehab are so long and difficult to complete. We may never see the person who completely took over the finals and carried his team to victory or score 30-50 a night with an insanely high-efficiency rate. All of that goes up in doubt because of this one horrible and career threatening injury.

As for his free agency, I think that this injury will help KD understand the fan base he has around him and his teammates who need him just as much as he needs them. The Raptors have stolen the finals from KD and the Warriors and this might compel him to stay another season and compete for a 3rd championship instead of going somewhere such as New York.

As for New York, they might as well start preparing for a losing season as they do not have the 1st overall pick to get Zion Williamson and Kyrie Irving has stated that he would much rather play for the Nets than the Knicks. That has to hurt a franchise who was looking to build a big three with the edition of KD and attempt to compete for a championship. All in all, I want to wish KD the best of luck in recovering and becoming a top 3 player in the NBA again.

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