Taxpayers, Stadiums and Political Privilege

Nationals Park
Image by Kevin H. via Flickr

Free tickets are to politicians as blood is to vampires. When not being used by the pols themselves, tickets are the means by which they reward, make up to, gain acceptance from and win favor with people they want or need politically. The recipient may be a donor, a voter or a voter’s child. No matter. Tickets, suites, parking passes, etc., grease the passage to a target’s heart — or wallet. Sucking up to constituents knows no bounds.

The Washington Post columnist Colbert King makes a key point about the food fight between Mayor Adrien Fenty and the Washington DC City Council over the baseball suite tickets.

What of the ironies here.

First, they are fighting over perks that the taxpayers footed the bill for! Nationals Park cost the city at least $650 million and who knows how much in sundry other expenses. Residents paid for that and the politicians that are representatives of those taxpayers are fighting over the expectation that they ought to have free tickets to a luxury suite without much consideration that most of their constituents will not be able to afford to see the inside of the stadium even from the less expansive bleacher seating.

Second, the fight over tickets is going on while the stadium remains no more than one-third filled most of the time. The cost of individual tickets certainly plays a major role in keeping residents and visitors to the nation’s capital from going to the games.

The empty stadium phenomenon is becoming a major issue in Yankee Stadium and Citifield. The cost of the prime tickets results in rows of empty seats being broadcast along with the key action in the games. Meanwhile, the filled seats are in the outfield portions where ticket prices are somewhat accessible to the interested fans who used to fill up the better seating in the old Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium.

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4 comments so far

  1. […] Original post by bla2222 […]

  2. […] Concert News & Reviews @ CT2 placed an interesting blog post on Taxpayers, Stadiums and Political PrivilegeHere’s a brief overviewKing makes a key point about the food fight between Mayor Adrien Fenty and the Washington DC City Council over the baseball suite tickets. […]

  3. […] bla2222 added an interesting post today on Taxpayers, Stadiums and Political Privilege « Bohemian Yankee in …Here’s a small readingSecond, the fight over tickets is going on while the stadium remains no more than one-third filled most of the time. The cost of individual tickets certainly plays a major role in keeping residents and visitors to the nation’s capital … […]

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