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Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit, Revised and Expanded Edition Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Like most journalism "Field of Schemes" is best in the specifics of telling stories of individual efforts to oppose inititives to build new sports complexes. It follows the stands made against the owners in such cities as Detroit, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Seattle. I should add that in every case a new stadium eventually was built with significant taxpayer involvement. The only small success in these fights was in San Francisco, where the Giants actually paid for the stadium but not before the city made many internal infrastructure improvements to the area.
The best part of the book is Cagan and deMause’s delineation of the steps taken by the owners to obtain new stadiums. The playbook goes like this:
1. The Home Field Disadvantage: the assertion that the current stadium is so old and in such poor shape that it simply must be replaced.
2. Faking a Move: claiming that unless the situation in the local city is remedied the owner will have no choice but to move the team.
3.Read more ›
And one would think that the "free market" billionaire owners of professional sports teams would reject feeding at the public trough as creeping socialism. It's simple selfish greed and the ease with which the politicians roll over is appalling.
I live in Minneapolis and so Art Rolnick of the Minneapolis Fed is our voice of reason...I'm so glad the authors reference his idea - just treat public subsidies as income and tax it accordingly. It is too late for Minneapolis, however, a new Vikings stadium was just approved last fall, even though legal prohibitions were in place to prevent public subsidies over $10 million.
I'm a bit exhausted by this book but the best thing is that it offers strategies and lessons to fight these "free market" parasites who own professional teams and to hold these political hypocrites accountable.
If anything it gets a little tedious because they exhaustively document so many of these swindles but this adds a nice completeness to the story. Good read, important book.
I bought this for a specific reason but I recommend it to anyone anywhere that a team is asking for public money to fund stadiums etc. As a Kindle download the $9.99 was a reasonable price for a fascinating read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More sports fans should read this book, but my guess is they don't want to know why, when the ticket prices, beer and food at these venues continues to bust the family budget,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by mcg
Great book. Anyone in a city that's trying to get public financing for a stadium or already has should read this.Published 7 months ago by Corona
Lots of historical data but not presented in a format which allows retrieval of specific topics.Published 13 months ago by Hal H. Herritt
It is shocking to read how much public money has been squandered in the pursuit of public funding to support billionaire team owners.Published on May 3, 2014 by Frank Rizzo
It was an eye-opener to learn of the outrageous public subsidies of so many professional sports stadiums, but I would have preferred a more summarized version. Read morePublished on October 25, 2013 by R.A. Stammerjohan
Excellent book that debunks the myths that sport's stadiums and arenas are good investmens for public tax dollars. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Michael Ted Williams
Perfect antidote for all the claptrap spun by owners, their captive pols, and hired liar consultants trying to rape the public coffers for another stadium .Published on June 27, 2013 by Richard Carlson