The wins, that is.
If ever you doubted that a new arena or a new stadium can actually help a professional sports team win a championship then look no further than one of the worst franchises in the history of athletic competition.
But let's take this bit of stupidity point by point. Bianchi claims that building new sports stadiums equals championships, as evidenced by the Magic and Cardinals. The Magic, we should note, won't have their new stadium until next fall, so apparently it's the promise of RDGPDâ?¢ that's turned everything around. Of course, nobody sent that memo to the Yankees, who didn't make the Big Show last October despite an all-star roster and a new stadium on the way. And the Dallas Cowboys, who are moving to the gold standard of new stadiums next year - they didn't make the fucking playoffs in the fucking weak-ass NFC. The Red Sox? No new stadium, and they won. Correlation, not causation, Mike - and WEAK correlation at that.
Oh, silly facts. Let's here more from Bianchi:
Bidwill moved the team out of St. Louis to the Phoenix area in 1987 when St. Louis reneged on a deal to build a stadium. The plan was to play at Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium for a couple of years until a new NFL
Without access to the revenue stream a modern stadium produces, it's difficult for a family owned team to compete. And maybe this is why we all owe Bidwill an apology.
Why is it in other forms of business you're considered shrewd if you find a way to turn a profit in a tough economic climate, but in sports you're considered cheap? Because Bidwill wasn't willing to pay exorbitant salaries and lose money, he became one the NFL's most castigated owners.
The Magic, thankfully for sports fans in Orlando, have taken a different approach. They've been willing to lose a reported $10 to $20 million per season over the last several years in order to remain competitive until their new arena is finished.
stadium could be built, but those couple of years turned into a couple of decades.
Oh my fucking God. Where to start. How about Bianchi's supposed area of expertise, sports: One, were the Cardinals in any division besides the oh-so-shitty NFC West, they wouldn't have made the playoffs. With an 8-8 record, had thay been in the AFC East for instance, they would have finished in fourth place. Had they been in ANY OTHER DIVISION, the postseason would have been unlikely. Sure, the team has had a good playoff run, but they ultimately made the Super Bowl because the Eagles did what the Eagles always do - choke (apologies to my friend David Oakley, a rabid Eagles guy who has been majorly depressed these last two weeks). And seriously - did the Cardinals offense decide to suddenly, like, play because they realized they were in a new stadum? No. Kurt Warner stepped up. He's a winner, that's what they do.
Two, the Magic and their unselfish willingness to sacrifice money for little old us. How sweet. Yeah. Bullshit. If Mike took a second to pull his head out of Alex Martens' ass, he might cast a critical eye on the team's assertion. See, the team just cajoled us into dropping $450 million on their new arena. So it's in their interest to let us think that they're going broke and need our help. As I recall, the Magic were asked to open up their books during the negotiating process, and they declined. We know, however, that they drop more than $60 million on players' salaries a year.
Three, let's take the Magic's claim at face value. They're losing $20 million a year. So fucking what? Is it because of the arena they're in? No, dumb-ass. It's because people don't care enough to go see them in a big enough quantity to generate a profit. Whose fault is that, Mike? Maybe it's theirs, for not winning championships or bringing in exciting enough players. Or maybe we're just not a basketball town.
Like I said, so fucking what. If Mike is right, and new venues equal wins, then why didn't Rich DeVos build his own goddamn stadium? He's got the money - billions of dollars in fact. (And hell, it's not like that bigoted fundie son of a bitch hasn't lavished anti-gay causes with millions of dollars of the years.) If building a stadium was profitable, why not do it himself? By the way, I wasn't aware that it was a city's job to help its sports teams win. It's a city's job to make itself liveable. A good ratio of taxes to services plus some job creation does that. Building a half-billion dollar stadium for one of the richest assholes on earth doesn't.
Four: But â?¦ but â?¦ if we don't build it, the Magic will leave. Bullshit. The NBA is too big as it is. Every city that can justify a franchise has one (except Seattle, which told its team to take a hike when it came begging for money; I don't see Seattle as any less of a real city, do you?). And Orlando's a good spot to be in - we have like the 19th largest TV market in the country, and that's growing rapidly. Besides, other cities are in the same dire straits as we are. Where would they go? Oklahama City bent over backwards to get a franchise - and hey, it's still Oklahoma City and no one wants to live there.
If we lived in a city with a collective brain, we would have dared the Magic to go elsewhere when DeVos started hollering about a new stadium. But we didn't. Instead, we gave DeVos everything he wanted, and then some. Why? Because this city's leaders listen to pennant-waving douchebags like Mike Bianchi.
So the Magic will get their arena. The rest of us will get saddled with debt that we may or may not be able to pay off. But look on the brightside: Maybe the Magic won't suck, and maybe Rich DeVos will make even more money. And apparently that's now the basis of public policy.
Final thought: Bianchi makes a shit-load of money writing this column. So do the editors who place this drivel into print. No wonder Tribune's bankrupt.