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A teams failure or success in a given market has more to do with the quality of the team and ownership group than anything else. Any city will be able to produce 15,000-20,000 for a winning team. Look at San Antonio. Good owners, good team, good support. Portland had this success for many years. The Sonics did when they were winning too. There is also a honeymoon period with new teams, where they will get support even if they aren't playing well. Oklahoma City will draw poorly after a few years if the Hornets stay there and don't play well. Guaranteed. Same will go with Las Vegas, Kansas City, etc. There is a long history of poor ownership, and thusly poor quality teams, causing a franchise to move. Howard Schultz and Paul Allen are not good owners for their teams at this time. Montreal in baseball is the best example of that, the city totally could have supported the Expos if the ownership wanted that. Baseball is a little different too, in that they play a lot more games in much bigger stadiums. Even good teams can't sell out every game. The gist is that a good owner who provides a good product and isn't disingenuous will succeed almost anywhere. The Jeffrey Lorias and George Shinns of the world can't do well anywhere over time, but the George Steinbrenners and Peter Holts of the world will succeed anywhere. The only cities that may be immune to this are New York, Chicago and Detroit. Not Los Angeles though. The teams there suffer for attendence if they don't play well. The whole issue of public stadium financing is a red herring. It fleeces the locals and doesn't give much in return. A city never gets back enough from it's investment in a sports venue to make it worthwhile. There is a lot of spin involved to make it seem like the tourism and service economy benefit from it enough to make it a good deal, but that same money could be spent countless other ways with better results. Spending public money to attract a sports team is a stopgap measure for bad owners to gain leverage and make quick money, but it is a fleeting joy. How can you trust an owner that moves to your city just because you make a deal? That is like marrying someone who left their spouse just to marry you. Aren't they likely to do it again? Do you think Steinbrenner needs to worry about public money? He is probably making more money if he builds the stadium himself, like Peter Magowan with the Giants.
posted by kittydog42 at 04:03 PM on April 15
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