Page-4 | NBA 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando: Amnesia, arena schemes and handouts for billionaires | Professional | -- Your State. Your News.

May 26th
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NBA 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando: Amnesia, arena schemes and handouts for billionaires

DeVos got his publicly financed arena and had his handout, yet he wants to make sure public education is damaged in Florida. In Sacramento it is hard to tell who wants an arena more, the owners or the politicians. The fans don't care as long as their team, their home guys – although Jerry Seinfeld is correct in his assessment that fans root for dirty laundry (or logos) – and they have a team. The economic impact of franchises is minimal, although psychologically for some people it is very important to root for a team. The intangibles are a big deal, stuff that cannot be measured.

The NBA is celebrating "the magnitude of me" with billionaire owners trying to destroy public education but wanting a money making revenue machine like a new arena paid by taxpayers.

Unfortunately sportswriters will just write about how wonderful the all-star experience is and how great it is to have a new arena. By the way, new arenas have created a new form of segregation: class separation as the average fan really cannot afford to go to games and are shut out as the teams cater to well-heeled customers instead of the average guy or family. But it is not seen as class warfare, although the evidence accrues on an annual basis that only wealthy customers can afford personal seat licenses, $3000 court side seats, and the average guy knows that yet remains smitten by his/her team and the owner who provides the team and puts an inferior product on the field, on the diamond, on the court or on the ice.

Meanwhile for David Stern, all seems forgiven. He is no longer compared to a plantation owner, Jeremy Lin and "Linsanity" is a global event and fans have their product back. Maybe Bryant Gumbel will save his next monologue (he trashed the late Gene Upshaw's stewardship of the National Football League Players Association and, of course, wrongly nailed Stern with a 19th century charge) for National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman. After all the NHL could be in lockout mode next fall. But considering where the NHL is on the radar of the "sports experts" like Gumbel, he probably won't even notice if the NHL is missing in action.

Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy's 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on "The Politics of Sports Business." His book, "The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition" is available at and Amazon and featured on Google books.


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