Monday, February 13, 2006

Politics and Sports just don't mix

Regular commenter Soccermike has a guest post:

Politics and Sports just don't mix

When you think of politics and sports together you can't help to think what disaster is going to happen next. Take last spring, when congress had nothing better to do, except control a war, they instead drilled current and former Major League Baseball players on the use of steroids. Then there is the Washington Nationals mess, first the city's council of men and women voted to bring the team down to earth as well from Montreal and promised Major League Baseball that they would have a new stadium. Instead they are voting the stadium down and possibly the team might have to move again. Not to pick on just baseball, the other mess in Pittsburgh regarding the Penguins who are for sale for a cheap $100 million, who are the only major sports franchise in Pa. without a new stadium or arena. Even the lowly Pirates who have one of the worst records in baseball have a new stadium. So the team is for sale and the Penguins will probably move to Kansas City or somewhere west. Besides the government money to build these stadiums and arena, and the political smiles at the ribbon cutting ceremony, or the first pitch on opening day politicians have to stay out of sports and here is the best example I could give right here in Northeast Pa.

Here you have two counties Luzerne and Lackawanna. One team is a minor league baseball team and the other is a minor league hockey team. One team is controlled by the county commissioners and the other is controlled by the individuals who have business experience behind them and a major sports team. Who do you think makes money? The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are on of the best teams in the AHL. Even in the beginning of their franchise seven years ago they were sold out every game. They average over 8,000 fans per game today is second in the whole league they are on tops of the league in memorabilia and team apparel sold every year. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons mean while only draw about 4,000 per game last summer, memorabilia and team apparel do not sell as easily and their stadium runs every ticket promotion you could imagine to draw in fans. Not to mention when you want to get a job with the stadium or the team front office, every decision has to go through the County Commissioners. If that is not a disaster waiting to happen I don't know what is. It's not surprising to me that the Philadelphia Phillies want to move the minor league team to Allentown. Not only is it closer for them, they won't have to deal with these commissioners who don't listen to anyone but themselves. I feel bad for the Phillies management. You have a good following with fans, your only 2 hrs. away from your prospects, and the team use to draw pretty well. I think the fans are getting sick and tired of the politics involving the stadium, I think that is why attendance is down.

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