All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Money, Money, Money

The McPaper had another article the other day about how the bad economy is affecting sports. The problem isn't the fans. At least so far, the fans are hanging in there. The problem is the sponsors. The Arena Football League has canceled their 2009 season. Not because they're afraid they can't sell tickets, but because they're afraid their sponsors will pull out. A lot of their sponsors are in the banking and car industries - both very hard hit by the financial crisis.

Baseball must be facing similar issues. The SWB Yankees play on PNC Field, and a lot of other teams also play in parks that bear the names of banks. I suppose they must have an advantage over sports like Arena Football, being connected to deep-pocketed big league teams...but even the big league teams seem a little worried.

The issue of salary cap has arisen again:

Some baseball owners say it may be time to reconsider a salary cap after the New York Yankees spent nearly a half-billion dollars on free agents during a recession that may cause some teams to retrench.

"I would ask, if it's such a bad idea, what sport doesn't have a salary cap other than us?" Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said Wednesday.

But even the Yankees are having money problems:

The Yankees are asking at a hearing this week for another $259 million in tax-exempt bonds and $111 million in taxable bonds to build the Bronx stadium, scheduled to open with an exhibition game on April 3. That's on top of $940 million in tax-exempt bonds and $25 million in taxable bonds already granted.

The cost of the stadium has risen to $1.5 billion from $800 million when the project was announced in June 2005. The cost includes $1.3 billion in bond financing and $225 million in private funds.

The subsidies for the stadium have sparked outrage in the middle of a global economic meltdown that has crippled the city's budget and cut thousands of working-class jobs while the Yankees doled out hundreds of millions of dollars for new players. The team, which last season failed to make the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade, signed pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira to contracts totaling $423.5 million.

The Yanks did eventually get the tax breaks they asked for. However, a lot of New Yorkers, including many Yankee fans, are angry. The state budget is terrible shape. And it's the billionaire Yankees who are getting a bailout? I don't blame people for being upset. And if the financial crisis continues - and I fear it will - people will be even more irate.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:05 PM


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