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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 10, 2006 / 12 Nissan, 5766

Fans welcome new stadiums; will stadiums welcome fans?

By Evan Weiner

Evan Weiner
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometime in the not too distant future, New York sports fans - or, at least, the ones who can afford a day at the stadium - will look back at 2005 with fond memories.The average Yankee ticket in 2005 cost $27.34, a beer was $5.75, soda cost three bucks, a hot dog was $2.75, parking was $10,a program $5,and a cap $15. That's about $50, if you're not a drinking man. But that will seem cheap in 2009, when the new Yankee Stadium, which cleared a major hurdle this week when the City Council approved several key aspects of the planned $800 million ballpark, is scheduled to open. Fans better become accustomed to higher prices, because the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, Devils, Nets, Islanders, and Red Bulls will all be playing in new or renovated facilities within the next five years with all the requisite "fan amenities" that teams tout.


"Fan amenities" is code for raising prices and weeding out poorer fans and replacing them with customers who have the means to buy higher-priced tickets, beer, soda, hot dogs, team apparel, parking, and will order off the menus at in-facility restaurants. Those who cannot afford the tickets can stay home and watch ESPN (for $2.70 wholesale a month), the MSG-FOX Sports combination (for about $4 a month),YES (about another $3 a month), and Sports Net New York (that's about $3 a month, if my Time Warner bill is any indication).


A prominent NBA owner once told me that he would rather have customers than fans because customers spend money at games while fans sit around and listen to sports talk radio all day.


The New York-New Jersey sports landscape is about to undergo an unprecedented transformation. As the Yankees celebrated being that much closer to a new ballpark yesterday, the Mets unveiled architectural and design plans for their own new stadium, which is also scheduled to open in 2009. In fact, every outdoor stadium and indoor arena in the metropolitan area either will be replaced or renovated - with a good deal of the money coming from taxpayers, no matter what the teams and elected officials say. New York City residents will be paying hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure for the new Yankee Stadium, the Mets' new Ebbets Field-look stadium, and Bruce Ratner's massive Brooklyn project that centers around an arena for his New Jersey Nets.


There is also apparently a deal on the table between the city and Madison Square Garden's Charles Dolan that would allow the Knicks owner to build a new arena behind the Farley Post Office and replace the present arena with office towers. There is no word on whether the deal includes a provision that would include property taxes. Since 1982, the Garden's owners - which have included Gulf and Western, Viacom, and the Dolan family - have not paid any property taxes because the Knicks and Rangers were at an "economic disadvantage"compared to other NBA and NHL teams since the Garden was burdened with high property taxes and a steep Con Edison bill.The Dolans pay neither thanks to a 1982 deal brokered by Mayor Koch that relieved Gulf and Western of the burden.


In New Jersey, former Wall Street broker and Devils owner Jeffrey Vander Beek has contributed $100 million toward the construction of a new Newark arena. The building is scheduled to open in October 2007 and may signal the beginning of a new era for Devils fans, er, Devils customers.


Simply put, the "corporate fan" has money, whereas the "family fan" can only afford to attend a few games annually, if that many.The Devils' new building will include more luxury boxes,more club seats, more in-arena restaurants, and more concourse room where customers can spend money on an evening of entertainment.According to the Team Marketing Report in 2005-06,the Devils average ticket costs $54.67. When the new building opens, you can expect that price to rise significantly.


Down the road in East Rutherford, Giants and Jets fans don't have to pay a Personal Seat License (PSL) - yet.The Carolina Panthers ownership often gets the credit for devising the system by which you buy a seat license and then buy the ticket for that seat. But Dr. John McMullen came up with the idea back in 1982 when he purchased the Colorado Rockies and moved the hockey team to New Jersey. Dr. McMullen wanted to sell tickets in the lower bowl at the Meadowlands through personal seat licenses. In 1982, New Jersey wasn't ready for that.


But in 2009, the Jets and Giants may charge their clientele a personal seat licensing fee to help pay off the debt on their new $700 million stadium. The Giants and Jets ownership will be getting money from the state of New Jersey as well as tax breaks, but that won't be enough to offset the debt. Many NFL teams already "offer" PSLs, so it's only a matter of time before the metropolitan area's two NFL teams join the party. The Giants have raised ticket prices in five of the last six years. In 2005, the average Giants or Jets ticket price was about $71, up from about $45 in 2000. People who buy PSL's have to put thousands of dollars down to secure a ticket. So what exactly do you get with your PSL? The San Francisco Giants introduced a version of the PSL to baseball in the late 1990s when the team was underwriting the cost of its new stadium. Customers paid up to $7,500 per seat to guarantee they could buy the same seat on a year-to-year basis over a seven-year period.


It doesn't seem far fetched to think that tickets to New York's new baseball stadiums will come with the same costcovering maneuvers, what with the Mets laying down $550 million for their new stadium and the Yankees shelling out about $585 million for theirs.


If the Giants were able to sign people up for seven-year PSLs at $7,500 per license in 1999, what can Steinbrenner or Wilpon command in a baseball-crazy town? Maybe $12,000 over seven years? Maybe $15,000?


It will be the same story for the Major League Soccer Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J., Ratner in Brooklyn with his Nets, and Charles Wang in Uniondale with his Islanders. The new or renovated buildings will be the justification for raising prices.Then fans will have to make a decision. Will they remain fans and watch on TV and listen to sports talk radio, or will they become customers and spend a lot more money for their sports?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a syndicated radio commentator. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

04/07/06: Don't mess with a congressman/sports fanatic
04/05/06: Los Angles loses yet again
04/04/06: NCAA's highest stakes are first beginning
04/03/06: The real reason Major League Baseball is worried about cheating
03/31/06: Baseball buoyant, better than ever
03/30/06: Affording to be in the big leagues

© 2006, Evan Weiner

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