Monday, March 17, 2014

The gentrification of the Santa Clara 49ers

Ticket prices at the Santa Clara stadium

The Field of Schemes blog is skeptical about stadium deals. This morning on the 49er's new  stadium:

We finally have a model for a successful stadium project, then: Build it in a market where you have a fan base rabid and rich enough that they’re willing to pay anything for a chance to buy tickets, and where naming-rights fees run into the eight digits, and you’re all set. Too bad everybody can’t play in the Bay Area.

But in the long run, the NFL---and football in general---is in trouble because of the concussion issue. They can fiddle around with the design of the helmets and the rules all they want, but that's unlikely to do anything but mitigate in a marginal way the dangers, since you don't have to be hit on the head to suffer a concussion.

I say this in sorrow as a long-time 49er fan (as I mentioned before, I was at Kezar Stadium for the 1957 playoff game against the Detroit Lions). Actually attending 49er games is now too expensive for working class fans.

Like a lot of sports fans, I'll likely be watching more basketball and baseball---games that have little chance of serious head injuries---than NFL games. It's impossible to keep denying that football is an intrinsically violent game, unlike baseball and basketball.

When I was a kid in the 1950s, boxing was a much more popular sport in the US than football. On TV we had the Wednesday Night Fights and the Friday Night Fights, sponsored by Gillette Blue Blades and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. 

The sheer, undeniable brutality of boxing has now relegated it to a much smaller audience in the country, and I never watch it anymore. 

The fate of Muhammud Ali---suffering from Parkinson's syndrome for years---probably forced many to face the ugly, intrinsic violence of boxing. Football may suffer the same decline in the long run. The wisdom of allowing children to play Pop Warner football and teenagers to play in high school is now being questioned. 

From the Seattle Times

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2 Comments:

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

While I think the concussion problem is an issue for the sport, I think enough people are willing to look the other way to any problems with the Great Sport of Football. I think the bigger problem, as you alluded to, is the ever skyrocketing prices of football (and other sports) tickets. Who can afford to go to the new stadium? Some people, especially people who have high paying jobs or work at the right company. But the sport just isn't for average Joe's anymore.

Sadly, I think the other sports will go that way eventually, too. I'm hoping at some point people will realize the percentage of their paychecks are going to these forms of entertainment, luxury clothes, luxury cars, $4 toast, etc., and they will pull back and simplify their lives.

 
At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can afford to go to the new stadium?

THE RIGHT PEOPLE!

 

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