Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lou Guzzo goes a bit too commie with Sonics

Lou Guzzo:
They are joined by two other Democrats, Senators Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray, who are also very critical of the Sonics “robbery” but are doing nothing about the N.B.A. owners’ action. If they were really concerned, they would immediately introduce legislation in Congress to take away the owners’ sports dictatorships and order that all pro-sports franchises should belong to the cities and their sports fans, whose dollars at the turnstiles make pro sports possible.
With that kind of a law, only the voters and sports fans of cities could determine whether a basketball, football, baseball, hockey, or any other franchise could leave town. Every major city in the U.S. should have the right to own franchises in all pro sports and to force them to leave if they wished.

Under such a law, the cities would not own nor operate the teams. That would be done by eligible owners or organizations, and the city governments should have no say in the day-to-day operations of the teams. Doesn’t that make a lot more sense than the present stupid tugs of war the pro leagues now condone?
What would be much easier and much less radical proposal would be to simply allow non-profit or fan-owned teams. There is only one top level professional team in the United States that could be considered "fan owned."

Here's a quick rundown of what's wrong with our current organization of pro-sports:
First, overturn the major leagues' prohibition on fan ownership. This will likely require Congressional action. Representative Earl Blumenauer's (D-Oregon) Give Fans a Chance Act (HR 590) would accomplish this goal. The bill would forbid any of the professional leagues from prohibiting community ownership, and would withdraw the leagues' antitrust privileges if they did so. It also requires teams to give their communities 180 days notice of proposed relocation, during which time the community can put together an offer to retain the franchise. Lastly, it requires that leagues consider factors such as fan loyalty and whether the community is opposed to the move before approving relocation.
So, an effort like Share Liverpool or A.F.C. Wimbledon could ever happen.

No comments: