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Gotta Build a Stadium, Park or Arena? Let's Vote!

Posted Monday/March 8, 1999; 8:01 a.m. PST

Why do the owners and players only want to hear our voice when they want us to vote on building stadiums, parks, and arenas? Oh yea, we're their "business partners" when it comes to getting their capital expenses reduced. Aren't stadiums, parks, and arenas just the cost of doing business? Aren't the places where sports are played just one of the major expenses of a sports team owner? Isn't it one of the "bigs" in BIG BUSINESS. Come on, when you're a BILLIONAIRE, why in the world do you need our money?

Paul Allen     
Sports' Richest Owner, Paul Allen
Take our favorite sports team owner, Paul Allen. God bless this man! We all got chills up our spines when he came riding into Seattle on a blue and silver horse waving a solid-gold sword! We've been Seahawk fans from the start, so the down-to-the-wire-photo-finish that had the team's imminent departure wagered ALL on a "Win" ticket had us following the call the entire race. When that race was won by a nose (a horse called, "Billion" is always a good bet in our book!), we were just as excited, thankful, and appreciative as any other Seahawks fans. We knew the deal was contingent on the vote to raise $400 million to build a new stadium alongside the brand-spankin'-new Mariners' Safeco Field. Man, those were some tense times for Seattle Sports Fans! But we didn't care BECAUSE THE SEAHAWKS ARE HERE TO STAY, BABY!!!!!

Regardless of who your team is, we've all been there, right? As fans, it splits our thinking right down the middle, doesn't it? At the "exact time" that we are thinking, "come on, if you've got a Billion-PLUS dollars, why can't you just kick in the rest"?, we are also thinking "We GOTTA GET THAT STADIUM BUILT, NO MATTER WHAT!" Right? Then it's really like giving (yes, HANDING OVER) money to someone to build a store at the mall so they can sell you a higher-priced product, every time you come in; think about it. It's MADNESS!

What good is it to read Forbes magazine year in and year out, to find out how rich these guys are (and fantasize about being one) if they don't even want to finance their own deals? We don't want to read about "wheeler dealers" who need "non-billionaire us," do we? Why do we want to keep hearing about a guy's fabulous wealth if the reality of it is, he's gotta borrow "a little bit" of money from each of us to close the deal? Look at it this way. Paul Allen paid approximately $500 million in capital gains tax last year. You mean to tell us that he and the government couldn't figure out some way to take his taxes, call it a tax "something," and put it with the money he already committed so he can build a stadium that will generate more local, state, and federal taxes?

The Seahawks' New Stadium
The Seahawks new home, coming soon
Surely there is a way that a billionaire's attorneys, accountants, advisors, investment bankers, bookies, etc., and the federal government can figure out a way for a "special tax credit" for building a major public facility like a stadium. If the state government can have a "special election" with a "special tax item" on the ballot that goes into a "special account," to build a stadium, definitely the federal government can have a "special tax credit" that it works out with the state and local government for someone building a stadium. To us, that makes more sense than increasing taxes for people that are already under the weight of taxes! The government does give "ridiculous" tax breaks and credits! Just ask Donald Trump.

But hey, we don't wanna sound like we're complaining. We knew the deal and were all for it. And despite the fact that all the Seahawks were able to this season was be an "NFC East Bully," we're sure glad they are still here and not in Anaheim. As for that stadium we're kicking in for, we absolutely cannot wait 'til the Kingdome gets imploded and the Seahawks' new stadium built, so we can watch Mike Holmgren-led Seahawk Football and the wonderful Emerald City skyline all at the same time! It's going to be sweet!!!

Now, before we get too off track talking about our 2002 Seahawks, we'll ask you again: Why do the owners only want to hear what we have to say when it's time to build stadiums, parks and arenas? Whether they are building a facility (at least there is a vote) or deciding on collective-bargaining agreements (don't you wish there was a vote?) "collectively speaking" it's OUR money and nothing can happen without it. In fact, without WeTheFans, the term "collective-bargaining" is really an oxymoron. WeTheFans are the third party in the equation.

For the entire 191 day NBA lockout, no one asked the Fans about the "Larry Bird Exception." Who was asking what percentage the Fans can negotiate to lower ticket prices? If the owners originally wanted a nine percent scaling back of salaries, shouldn't the ticket prices which "went up proportionately" also "come down proportionately?" WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN, RIGHT? If all the arguing was about how the players and owners are going to sweeten their wallets why shouldn't the Fans have theirs sweetened a little bit too? When you look at the numbers there's GOTTA be some way for the Fans to benefit also. It's our money in the FIRST PLACE. Our money is literally in "first place." It's our $2,000,000,000 first. THEN we hand it over. So how come no one is asking us to vote? Where's the "Special Election" when WeTheFans need it? We'll tell you where it's at. It's right here at! WeTheFans are calling our own Special Election by forming the Sports Fans Union! Register now as a M.A.H.F.I.A. Member!

Real Fan Power

Billionaires get fans to pay for their new stadiums with tax dollars.

What's wrong with that picture?

The Larry Bird exception should read, "Any player that can beat Larry Bird in a free throw, three point, or bounce pass contest can make an amount equal to 10% more than the recent Hall of Famer did his last season in the league!

Owners want cost control on salaries--how about some cost control on ticket prices?
The SBN is coming!