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Subsidized sports getting a deal at taxpayers' expense

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Sports subsidies

It’s messy, and it’s educational.

Right now, the city of Calgary and the Calgary Flames hockey team are locked in a public battle over a new rink for the team, and just how much the city should be chipping in to keep the team from flitting off to some new venue.

One benefit of the battle? That the sort of deal that’s on the table has become public fodder, so we can get an idea of just how much public involvement private business sports operations seem to feel they deserve.

And the offers are bizarre. Would you become a partner with a business that promised you no profit sharing, asked for up to two-thirds of the cash required to build a stadium and wanted a free pass on municipal taxes?

That’s not a business deal, that’s a ticket on the gravy train.

But, from the big guys in NHL, right down to the junior teams that set up — and often depart — from Atlantic cities, sponsorship of sports teams is a one-way street, a special kind of give and take........

© The Journal Pioneer