Jewish World Review March 6, 2003 / 2 Adar II, 5763

Evan Weiner

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NBA should study history before wa$ting tax payer re$ource$


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | For planners in Washington, Northern Virginia and Portland, Oregon who want to spend money to attract the Montreal Expos, a retrospective look at the late 1980s NBA expansion should be mandatory.

It's been more than 15 years since the NBA put teams in Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Minneapolis.

Three of those cities spent public dollars to build arenas and all four cities have not had long term successes with the teams.

The Miami arena was quickly outdated and the heat are playing in a newer arena.

Charlotte lost its team because its arena quickly became outdated.

Orlando is threatening to look elsewhere because its arena was outdated by 1994 and the Minnesota legislature took over the privately built target center by 1994 after the Timberwolves owners could not afford both the team and arena.

The Miami arena just got an Atlantic Coast Hockey League team, which will give the building 30 days of activity. The NBA's 1980s expansion was a failure because of poor planning. for those pursuing the Expos.

It's a lesson worth reviewing.

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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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© 2003, Evan Weiner