Apologies if this has been posted before but just reading this. That last sentence ticks me off :x :
Merulla proposes city buy Tiger-Cats - Owner says club losing millions of dollars
[i]Hamilton Coun. Sam Merulla is arguing the city should buy the Tiger-Cats from owner Bob Young because the municipality already owns most of the franchise through the subsidies it has provided the team over the years.
As the Tiger-Cats and the city enter into mediated negotiations over where to locate the new Pan Am Stadium, Merulla is proposing that Hamilton buy the football club for $1, and then run it like the Hamilton Utilities Corporation, or maybe the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.
“We have tens of tens of millions of dollars invested in the Tiger-Cats,? said Merulla, who has been opposed to tax dollars financing the Pan Am Games event. “We have a duty to protect the (city’s) investment and protect the Tiger-Cats.?
Merulla said any city purchase of the Tiger-Cats should follow the HUC example, or the model established by the Green Bay Packers, which has been community-owned since 1923. The Packers sell shares to the community, which includes voting rights, but no dividends. The stock does not appreciate, there is a limit on how much one person can own in stock, and a board of directors is elected to run the corporation. The Packers are the only nonprofit, community-owned franchise in American pro sports, in a city that has a population of only just over 100,000. The money raised is then used to improve the football club, and stadium.
Merulla said Hamilton subsidizes “We have a duty to protect the (city’s) investment and protect the Tiger-Cats.?
the Tiger-Cats as they play in Ivor Wynne Stadium, and Young says he has lost money on the arrangement. So, Merulla asks, how will the Tiger-Cats make money in a new stadium?
“It’s not a general landlord-tenant scenario,? said Merulla.
“It is the epitome of a corporate welfare scenario. Residents need to understand they are contributing to the Tiger-Cats already. We need to look at community-based ownership from both a capital and operating basis.?
Mayor Fred Eisenberger has stated that the city provides about $1.3 million per year to the Tiger-Cats. Under an agreement between the city and the Tiger-Cats, the football club also receives the revenue from the concession stands, and advertising at the stadium.
The city a few years ago paid for a new field, while the club purchased a new scoreboard.
Young has stated the club will lose up to $7 million if the new stadium is built in the Barton and Bay street area.
The city is contributing about $60 million for a new 15,000-seat stadium on the waterfront for the Pan Am Games. A city consultant’s report stated for the stadium to expand to 30,000 seats to accommodate the Tiger-Cats, another $50 million will be needed.
The Ticats have yet to contribute any money to the project, and it is unclear where the $50 million will come from other than from “private investors.?
Merulla said Tiger-Cat officials told councillors early in the discussion about building the stadium for the games that the private sector “will come in with tens of millions of dollars.
“We were told to ‘jump on the bus.’ Now I feel like (the Tiger-Cat officials) want to take us for a ride."[/i]
- BY KEVIN WERNER, NEWS STAFF May 27, 2010 00:05