Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

Richard Rider

Coyotes and NFL team owners — are they evil?

Last night my wife and I watched two coyotes in our back yard, diligently sniffing and pacing, looking for something to eat.  It immediately caused me to think of the Spanos family — owners of the San Diego Chargers.  But not for the reasons you’d think.

This morning (Sunday, 9 August, 2015) there’s an insightful op-ed in the SAN DIEGO U-T, further verifying that the owners of the Chargers want to move the team to Los Angeles — a far bigger and more “big corporation” market than “branch office” San Diego.  While the piece makes many good points, the article takes the low road when this assertion is highlighted — it is all about ego and greed.”

Really?  Are Chargers owners evil people?  Well, are the coyotes evil?

Consider:  If a coyote jumps into your yard and gobbles up your beloved Fluffy, is that some evil act?  Or is a coyote doing exactly what one would expect — killing and eating his next meal — with no value judgments justified?

Rich people buy a sports team for two reasons:

  1. To make as much money as possible — just like they would with any other investment.  Just like YOU would with YOUR investments — assuming you are a normal human being.
  2. To feed their ego.  NO team owner has a small ego — they are putting themselves in the public spotlight for a reason.  If they did have a small ego, they wouldn’t buy a sports team, and if they did buy one, the team likely would not perform well compared to competitors.

Without rich people with those two characteristics, it’s likely we wouldn’t have professional team sports. They are a critically necessary part of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.

The Spanos family figures that the net worth of their team essentially doubles if they move the team to LA.  25% of their tickets and sky boxes are now sold to LA fans and corporations — a number that doubtless will shrink dramatically when LA gets one or more NFL teams.  The greater LA Basin holds about 20 million people, vs. 3.2 million in San Diego County.  There are many more major corporate HQ’s in LA than San Diego.  San Diego has a lot of start-up enterprises, but they seldom spend money on sky boxes. And for all the huffing and puffing, most San Diegans will be LA Chargers fans, unless we field a new NFL team later.

I’m a big critic of San Diego taxpayers subsidizing pro sports — such subsidies are an inappropriate function for government. But let’s stop demonizing the Spanos family for trying to make more money, and for seeking to field a better football team with more revenue to spend.

It’s their team, not ours.  The owners are doing what coyotes do. Lighten up.

Just don’t subsidize NFL owners.  Or coyotes.