Re: Another reason to be grateful for the Krafts
posted at 5/7/2013 8:53 AM EDT
Most of the problem teams have a TERRIBLE product and have had for years. Miami in the Marino years and before had a good product that sold and the stands were full. It is harder with Baseball because there is so much fluctuation in team fortunes - even the Yankees who spend like crazy put some real clunker teams out there.
As for Kraft - he is an 'throw back' owner - he owns a team because he made a ton of money in another business and he is a huge fan. But he does not think he is the smartest guy in the room - business maybe, but football, no. So he hires good football folks and lets them do the job and gets out of their way. He gets to schmooze with the players, and does a good job in integrating them in the community, but doesn't try to coach them.
And yes - he saw a football stadium complex as a good business investment outside of the team ownership. I am sure he is making his money back on that investment.
As to the tax issue and communities paying for stadiums - it is not dissimilar to a number of other deals cities and states make to bring in other business - tax breaks, land, whatever. Everybody sees the stadium deals because it is an expense, but the reductions in revenues given out for businesses are never even publicised and have just as much of an effect on the bottom line.
And yes - a major sports franchise has a huge trickle down effect - not sure of what the total payroll number is for a NFL team, but you can start with $125M in salaries for players. FL does not have an income tax but they do have sales taxes, property taxes, etc. and a fair amount of that payroll is being spent locally. And that leaves out whatever revenue is generated by the fans. And the teams local operations budget - vendors, advertising, sub-contractors, etc. is likely to be another huge influx of money indirectly into the economy.
I think the biggest problem with stadium deals is with not locking in the team for the life of the stadium. Nothing worse than having a big stadium and no team.