I recently read something that was absolutely disgusting. It was about your mom. Then it got even worse. I read this series of articles about welfare cheats. Disgusting, lying, scumbag welfare cheats.
Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin own the New York Islanders. They’re also welfare queens sucking at the tit of government giveaways. Their scam: promising to build things in exchange for politicians making you – an actual taxpayer – pay more in taxes for. Take the deal that the rich land barons cut with former New York State Governor and not-former creep, Andrew Cuomo, to build a new arena at Belmont Park in Long Island. The governor boasted that he was driving a tough deal with them; he was going to make the owners shoulder the burden of paying 92% of a brand-new $104 million train station at Belmont. That’s a cool $97 million from the people who will benefit most from this investment.
But that number is about as true as Cuomo’s denying he didn’t hit on his female aides. Reality? In the first place, $74 million of that $92 billion bill is coming from a loan gifted to them by New York State, er, by your savings account. And on terms that you, in your wildest dreams, will never get. In the first place, the ownerss get 30 years to pay back $67 million of that loan. But, that’s not going to be big deal for them because the loan IS INTEREST FREE. In other words, New York State taxpayers are laying out $67 million to a couple of billionaires up front, and THEN, receive nothing over 30 years for the pleasure. The loss over that time in compounded interest comes to a minimum of $30 million. Also, you may have noticed that the $67 million is $7 million less than the original loan. Why? Because you can’t ask a welfare cheat to pay bills now like ordinary schmucks like you, can you? Eat $7 million of rich dick on your dime, cheerleaders. Rich people buy politicians and create the message that gets sold to you, and you love taking it in the ears and spewing nonsense bac out of your mouth as to why these are the job creators. THEY ARE NOT.
I’m not done with the handouts. To bring the Islanders back to the Coliseum between the era from the UBS land grab and from the horrible, horrible Barflays Center in Brooklyn? That was allegedly masterminded by cheapskate and local legend – and by legend, I mean stories that are made up to make excuses for failures- by “Long Island Hockey Savior” Charles “Leveraged Takeover at Computer Associates” Wang? The arena needed an upgrade to their ice making system. The cost for upgrading the ice, upgrading the wiring needed for media to properly handle games at the coliseum, and the upgrades to the already upgraded locker rooms? $6 million. And who paid for it? Want to guess? You. Me. Not the team owners benefitting from the arena and it’s upgrades. $6 million dollars for free. Again.
Oh, and that original deal when the Islanders moved to Brooklyn that required them to play two preseason and four regular season games at the Coliseum or pay a $1 million a year fine? That fine that the team ignored for 3 years? Hmmm..to me, that’s a $3 million fine. Yet that was subsequently WAIVED because why should laws and contracts count for rich people? Imagine the outrage of waiving bail on a $400 dollar theft? Yet imagine how ignorant you are by turning around and ignoring multimillion dollar criminals because you want to be them? Sell outs. Meanwhile, Belmont wasn’t even Charles Wang’s idea, or any of the present owners. Check out this picture from a 2013 Newsday article:
Maybe the BEST handout is the almost ABSOLUTE lack of taxes that the UBS arena will pay for taking up land on the border of New York City and the most expensive county to live in among the United States. A New York City audience. An affluent fanbase. And what is the tax bill? $10,000 an event for just 100 events a year (the Islanders already give you 41-44 events a year), or $1 million dollars flat if you have less than 100 events. At least the arena is paying something- a pittance, as the amount of sales tax collected on BEER sales alone in the first two Islander home games of the season was $90,000. If the sellers of the $22 beer took one dollar of revenue for each beer sold in the first two games of the season and used that to cover their $10,000 an event bill? They would cover 5 dates. In short? Paying just $1,000,000 annually is absolute taxpayer robbery.
Hmm, what are the naming rights of an arena on public land going for at UBS? A mere $17.5 million per year for 20 years? I’m thinking that 80% of that should go back to the public, minimally.
And the hotel that they’re building across the street in the old Belmont parking lot? Oh, that will be 100% tax free for 20 years. Because the billionaires needed that leg up to get by. Meanwhile, with a parking lot removed, event nights and overflow hotel events will be putting thousands of cars on the local streets, eating up homeowners parking spots and creating terrible ass clenching traffic. What did the local community get out of this land deal again? Based on the page dedicated to Community page on the UBS website? Fucking nothing. I guess they weren’t rich enough to get free money.
I could get more political and discuss how Nassau County’s Republican Party being the constant “Party of No Progress” since Herbert Hoover cost the county their TWO major league sports team (Ralph Caso and the Long Island Nets in the 1970’s, and fat bitch Kate Murray and the Islanders just a few years ago). I could discuss how the nearly $300,000 that Oak View Group, running UBS, paid to Andrew Cuomo’s political coffers led to millions in waived fines, tax fee deals, and $50 million in taxpayer dollars for free to rich people, as well as the interest free loans and tax free land use that follows it. I could say that the Supreme Court’s growing political bias allowing cases like Citizens United to become law from the bench without human approval, allowing companies who are somehow psychopathically considered citizens to exceed political donations limits that can be made by citizens to gain control over politicians? This has led to this overly toxic top down, citizen destroying corporate climate in this nation ruining so, so many things since the 1990’s. Like personal freedoms. You know, things Americans are supposedly supposed to love.
And what does it cost you, the fan, to attend an event at UBS? $35 to park your car, then take a bus to get to the arena because the parking close to the arena is incredibly limited. $22 for a beer. $4 for a bagel with nothing on it, $20 for a bagel with chicken on it. Seats? You can spend thousands a game if you really wanted to, for a team where the owners haven’t invested in the team once the doors at UBS opened.
Here is what we do know. 100% sold out seasons tickets, or 11,000 tickets out of 17,255 for hockey. Add in individual purchases and the Islanders sold out 99% of their seats in year one, or 16,492 tickets per game. That’s 258 more seats sold per game than actual seats in the Nassau Coliseum. We know that nearly singlehandedly, the Islanders pushed NHL league revenues back to pre COVID numbers, and had one of the three greatest financial turn a rounds in league history.
So my question again is, why are you giving free money to billionaires? And why aren’t billionaires using that money to improve, say, the product on the ice instead of making a walkway under the horse track to stop the expense of providing busses from their far away tax payer funded personal train station?
Has anyone noticed prices for tickets and concessions and parking going down with all of these free tax dollars going to owners? No? Why am I not shocked in any way? #ThievesGottaThieve
If the state is going to do such, there should be clauses like “win 50 games or you owe an extra $50 million over the next 2 years.” If you have a billion dollars, that’s not a whole lot. But the politicians won’t do that, because all of that free tax money going to rich people allows those rich folk to use those tax bucks to buy most politicians and discriminate against taxpayers. People complaining about welfare recipients should be deeply offended to know that the greatest per capita welfare recipient in the United States are businesses.
Check out this article by a conservative writer. The $9.5 million IKEA received to hire 175 people? IKEA isn’t a job creator. The government is. IKEA however, IS a job killer, as many local Mom and Pop furniture stores went out of business and laid off workers because of that free tax money. Companies don’t create jobs. Demand creates jobs. One group of prosperous people does not a nation make.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m complaining about the Islanders. That, my friends, is the thesis statement. 41-50 home games a year for not only a free use of public land, but a SUBSIDIZED use of public land plus state paid upgrades on a temporary home seems absolutely illogical to me. What my real issue is lies a little farther north and west of UBS arena.
Look at this absolute buttfuckery if you will.
In case you hate reading, here is the short of it. The Buffalo Bills wanted a new arena because they’re finally good. Being good is one of the ways teams hold an axe over their community to get something done. If the Islanders would have realized that earlier, maybe Charles Wang gets his lighthouse instead of running a club like a penny pincher, which would have shown up in his architecture as well. So what did the Bills get?
- $600 million in taxpayer money from New York State
- $250 million from the taxpayers of Erie County, where Buffalo is located
- More than $13 million a year over the next 30 years of taxpayer money to maintain an arena that’s used for 10 games a year.
- An arena used for ten games a year. TEN GAMES A YEAR.
Surely, you’ll say, the team owner is picking up something more than the $1.3 billion that the county and the state is laying out. They are. Terry Pagula is laying out $550 million in initial costs. You know, along with the $600 million that state taxpayers and the $250 million that Erie residents are laying out for 10 games a year. Oh, and some of those Erie residents will attend Bills games, so they are clearly being double and triple taxed, unlike the estate tax which impacts 1 in 200 people after free, untaxed millions act as a buffer.
Surely Pagula and his $6 billion in wealth will pay for arena upkeep, right? Yes. Up to $1 million a year, less than 8% of what New York state and Erie taxpayers are laying out for the same purpose. And I’m sure that this deal with the state has everything to do with New York not wanting to lose the loser Bills or bowing to threats by the team owner to relocate and nothing to do with the husband of the Governor having business dealings specifically in Bills Stadium. Nah, that kind of access that you’ll never get clearly lacks have perks!
The Bills arena will cost $1.4 billion dollars. The Buffalo Bills as a team are valued at $2.5 billion dollars. The team couldn’t have taken a mortgage like a homeowner against their own assets and pay for their own shit? Nah. Because they know that you will sign up to pay for them being rich while your decisions keep yourself limited.
Nah, because rich people love convincing you that a guy getting free food is bad, while they take $1.3 billion in free land, tax money, and 30 year maintenance contracts paid in reverse. And rich people love buy, borrow, die, as it sticks you with their bills if and when they default, and by default they mean that they’re only seeing $5 million in profits so why not have taxpayers take over the debt on the unpaid loan?
Say that there was a different way to spend that level of money. Say there was a way to spend it that would increase commerce, job opportunities, education accessibility, and ease traffic through New York City? There is? Wow! And it would help more than 17,244? Or 60,000? Get the fuck out!
The cost for a tunnel making a Syosset to Westchester commute 20 minutes would be $16 billion over 50 years. Seems VERY affordable in comparison. A full on 12 mile bridge from Oyster Bay to Connecticut would have cost $55 billion in 2018. Sadly, when the bridge was first proposed in 1955? That shit would already be paid for and we’d be planning a replacement 100 year bridge right about now.
So, what is the solution to this highway robbery by billionaire welfare cheat, non-job creating liars? Sports teams were meant to be a monument to civic pride. You have a hometown team to root for! Life is better! It’s like a movie theater, but live! It’s like Broadway, but we don’t want to invest money in theater because that’s intellectual!
If sports were a way to gather people together for a communal experience, in our modern context it has FAILED MISERABLY. Not the players. They love playing. No, the owners are the total scumbags. The owners who think somehow that they’re important to the game because they show up and watch just like fans do, except owners get free millions of dollars for doing such. The owners who tank games on purpose to keep payroll down but never lower ticket prices so their fans can create generational family connections. The owners that turned a fun day at the park into a mortgage payment for half a day of entertainment. Why would the owners be decent?
The owners CAN NOT be decent. How do I know? BECAUSE THEY STEAL PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS IN ORDER TO AOID USING THEIR OWN RICHES TO BUY THEIR TOYS. These assholes are not job creators. They are sinks for tax dollars. Look at how very small government PPP loans created the present super low unemployment rate. Government money, not the billions from Bezos- whose employees can’t even piss without getting fired. They are well dressed thieves. Fuck them one, fuck them all.
Even Steve Cohen, the man with limitless pockets that bought the Mets? He talked an awful lot of game until baseball made a specific Steve Cohen tax. Suddenly the player spending stopped, and the bullpen looks exactly like that. He cares about winning because it reflects on him, but even he has limits on how he wants to look. A real fan with $16 billion would have burned down $14 billion from day one to win four World Series in a row and have been happy with an asset he can sell for $5 billion after the fact. Imagine burning down a fortune and then turning around and selling it for a fortune? You have to imagine, but these owners don’t, because they steal money to maintain the asset and the present.
And if you’re a mindless fan who follows sports no matter how often your team loses? No matter how often they tank? No matter how frequently they miss the ever expanding playoff field? Grow up. Find a meaningful hobby. Do something new with your life. Take some time off from watching hours of shit a week.
Did you even ever ask the question – why, if my team has the lowest payroll in sports, and TV deals subsidize gigantic aspects of your team payroll, why am I paying $100 a ticket to see a horrible team like the Pittsburgh Pirates? Or the Detroit Lions? Or the New York Jets? This is an $8 value at best.
Folks? Stop giving rich pigs your money. Stop going to games. Stay home.
Owners will move teams to any city that wants them. They have ZERO loyalty to you. So why are you loyal to them, unless you’re a cuck?
Here is your best solution to this absurd matter. Let them move. They may move the Pittsburgh Penguins to Kansas City. And if no one shows up there? Houston moves to New Orleans. And if no one shows up there? New Orleans moves to Savannah, GA. How do I know this?
At one point, New York State had NBA teams in Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. (Syracuse is now the 76ers, Rochester is now the Kings, and Buffalo are now the Clippers). Small cities. And as the league progressed, the teams moved to bigger cities. Well, when big cities are sick of being held hostage for family vacation money to see a 3 hour sporting event? Teams will be forced to move to smaller cities. And they won’t be able to charge as much for tickets, so they’ll have to make prices humane.
Meanwhile? You watch a game at home on your TV. You save $1000 a home game. Your life improves. Yes, your tax money will go to building arenas in weird, small cities, but they’ll be smaller arenas. They may even be fun.
I’d like to end with a rare thing- a publicly held team. The Green Bay Packers are publicly owned. They are super small market. They are incredibly profitable. During a pandemic season with no fans? Team was profitable. The season after the pandemic when fans returned? Once all bills were paid, the Packers had over $70 million lying around. My guess? So do the Buffalo Bills.
The Atlanta Braves are publicly owned. The state buys them an arena every 25 years because they win a lot, and in reality they don’t want an arena in a minority majority community where the land is less expensive. And the Braves are very successful and profitable. Their stock has gone up 30% in the 24 months that I’ve owned it. Why are you subsidizing that? The 2021 Braves turned more than a million dollars of profit for every home game they had last year, including the playoffs. So technically the Braves cold build their own billion dollar stadium, pay it off in a decade, and still be profitable. But owning a baseball team is a money drain? Time to wake up!
If you have been to a sporting event in the last decade, you have seen at the personal negative financial impact that attending a sporting event created. A sporting event. If you are a kid fan whose folks pay for everything? Your shock awaits. A game at UBS or a semester of textbooks and a new laptop? It’s time to stop filling the pockets of people who use your own money to steal more money from your by buying politicians and getting their own way ala communism in the Soviet Union, where the class disparity started back then has made Vladimir Putin one of the richest people in the world. Coming from a system of privilege, not communism. Just like these people do here now. And just like Putin, they fuck their subjects hard and often.
Think about the teams that won the last Super Bowl and the last Stanley Cup. What did they have in common? The same owner. Because if you get shittons of public money? You can buy whatever you want, and still get that subsidized. You can own teams in every sport, because the public is paying you to do it. And not shockingly, some people oppose this, but will get shouted down because people look at political affiliation as more important than anything else. Because they’re stupid.
Wake up, people. Set the alarm clock for no more games in person, and watch how much better your life becomes. And if your team sucks? Pay attention to your family and friends instead of watching shit. You’ll thank me for preventing you from committing more of the same mistakes.