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Panem et circenses, bread and circuses

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by church mouse guy, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    May 23, 2002
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    As you know, in ancient Rome in the city itself there were large numbers of people who did not work but were given a grain allotment out of the Roman storage bins and were amused by free spectacles or circuses, giving rise to the expression panem et circenses, bread and circuses.

    Of course, we know have grocery store debit cards given to tens of millions of people by the federal government as our panem.

    And then we have professional sports. And the fact is that professional sports is not self-supporting in many cases. Indy built a dome for $80,000,000 in the 1980s for the Indianapolis Colts. When it was razed 25 years later, $80 million was still owed. The new Colts stadium costs $790 million and the city is obligated for that. The same with the Pacers basketball team, which was asking for $10,000,000 a year from the taxpayers. Of course, the Fever basketball team is a big loser but they do share the new Pacer's fieldhouse, financed by the city I think.

    Now the Indianapolis Motor Speedway says that the automobile racetrack in Speedway, Indiana, that hosts the Indy 500 needs taxpayer money to help comply with the provisions of the disability act regarding access and seating. And the state legislature seems inclined to let them keep the sales tax that they collect on sales during the race although they haven't passed a bill yet.

    Does professional sports (circenses) pay for themselves anywhere in the country?
  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club

    Apr 8, 2003
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    They may have before the age of "every player is a millionaire". Okay every starting player.

    This is a list of the worlds top paid 100 athletes - it is based on a combination of salary and endorsements.

    I have put them into group of to 10,20,30 ect
    Some columns may exceed 10 due to ties.
    The top athlete makes 85 million (boxing) , # 100 (baseball) made 16.6 million

    BASEBALL -------1----1--4---3---1--1---4--4---2

    Overall, interesting question. Problem is that a city is liable to cave into a request (for a new stadium) because of the (perceived?) economic impact. Not only of the salary the players make - which in turn they spend some in the town they play, but as well as the local jobs they create - team staff, concessions, parking, - which in turn gives jobs to people - who end up paying taxes.
    So if the city refuses to build a statium - then the team - with its money will go elsewhere. Unless the team is locally owned. Green Bay Packers is one example - as well as the Syracuse Chiefs.

    The Salt City was just awarded the American Bowling Congress Tournament in 2018. Civic leaders fought for the Congress. It is estimated that will bring the city some 70 million dollars. The event goes on for about three months. Look at just how much taxi drivers will make!

    Syracuse has been home to the State Fair for over a century now. Years ago, leaders told the State that Syracuse would foot the water bill for State Fair week to ensure the Fair would remain here in Onondaga County.

    I was looking for a stat (still looking) for the economic impact on the Fair. I am sure it would be in the millions. Hundreds of locals find part time work, many local vendors make a good dollar there as well.
    Whats that olé saying - It takes money to make money....
    #2 Salty, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013