Politicians spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars on a new stadium and sports fans ask: Why can’t I afford some good tickets?
And why, when fans can’t make it to the game (maybe because they can’t afford the tickets), has the game been blacked out so they can’t even watch it on TV?
Why, when NCAA colleges and universities receive public resources, can fans still not afford tickets?
And, when every serious college football fan in America wants a real playoff, why must they settle for a bogus BCS, (Bowl Champion Series) bowl game?
Why can my neighbor, who gets TV from one company, watch my local sports team — but those of fans who get TV from another company can’t?
The answer to these questions have nothing to do with the fan and everything to do with the multi-billion dollar sports and media industries controlling the game — literally without any regard to the fans who are the basis upon which team empires are built.
Sadly, U.S. laws and government actions overall have made things worse, not better, for sports fans.
For every one of the questions above, you probably can find a law on the books or an action by a government official taken to protect, serve, or otherwise help the sports industry and its partners.
The sports fan simply was not at the table when those deals were made.
The results have been fabulous for the sports industry: they get everything from a special exemption from federal laws that govern every other business; to special protections from competition; to vast public resources, courtesy of citizens like you.
Meanwhile, you — the sports fan — gets to pay more and receive less.
It’s time to change all that.
It is high time that fans demand a seat at the table whenever laws or public policy impacting sports are being made.
Fans must make their voices heard in the halls of Congress, at the White House, in the state houses — and in city halls around the country.
They must demand fair return to the fans for public resources used in sports, and they must demand fair access to sporting events at the game, and in the media.
Sports fans are the most important component to the viability of sports. They must engage and use their individual and collective power to insure they get the benefit of the bargains that are being made in their name by government and private sector players.
Now is the time for fans to take the field. And, there is a powerful not for profit Sportsfans.org that can help in this regard.
I am proud to be a member of the board of directors.
A level playing field is all fans want, now there is an organization to help them achieve it.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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