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Laguna Hills
Sunday, Jun 16, 2024

Royal Pain

Unlike the picture painted in your article about the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim (“Royal Reach,” April 4), I believe it to be a complete disaster.

The only things discussed were the allegedly bright economic impact of a professional sports franchise moving into the community.

In reality, a professional sports franchise has a terrible economic impacts. The only exception to that would be the extent to which an Anaheim Royals basketball team pulled fans, and dollars, away from the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

First and most dramatically, consumers don’t have an unlimited entertainment budget. In order to purchase the extremely expensive tickets for a new professional sports franchise, they would have to give up something else.

That something else would likely be going out to the movies, eating at restaurants, going to amusement parks, attending concerts or any number of other leisure activities.

Individual consumers would need to examine their own priorities and determine what they’ll give up in order to purchase Anaheim Royals basketball tickets.

It looks like tickets probably average $75 per seat, although franchises use a variable price format based upon the demand for tickets. This doesn’t even consider all the team paraphernalia including jerseys and related gear.

This I know from personal experience—I was a Los Angeles Rams (of Anaheim!) season ticket holder for several years before they moved to St. Louis. Once they were gone, our family had an additional $3,000 or so to spend on entertainment and leisure activities.

As far as the move’s economic impact, the first thing to consider is job creation. More than likely there’ll be few, if any, new jobs created.

At Honda Center, current employees will likely get more hours to work basketball games in addition to concerts and hockey games. I presume most of the key front office staff for the Kings who hold high-paying management jobs would likely relocate to our community–I imagine there would be clerical and office staff that may be hired to support the team.

The example of the Oklahoma Thunder, formerly the Seattle Supersonics, moving to Oklahoma City, Okla., is not a valid comparison. I believe in most cases professional athletes don’t necessarily live in the same community as their namesake team.

With travel options that exist in Southern California, players could live almost anywhere in the country and show up for games by flying in to John Wayne Airport. Conveniently the numbers provided in the article addressing the financial impact are “industry revenue estimates,” which I suspect are very self-serving.

On the other side, what about the additional impact of all those fans coming to the Honda Center traveling on our freeways and traveling on surface streets that will need additional repair and maintenance to keep them in good working order?

Forty-one home games multiplied by maybe 8,000 vehicles is 328,000 new trips per season. Is this somehow accounted for in the money that flows into Anaheim Arena Management LLC, which is owned by the Samuelis?

Professional sports franchises have basically been robbing local community taxpayers for years to obtain subsidies and tax credits created to lure them. Last week’s article states Anaheim has approved a $75 million bond measure including $25 million in renovations to the Honda Center to attract a professional basketball team.

Am I the only person in the U.S. who thinks this is crazy? Rather than local governments spending money, taxpayer money, to attract sports franchises, I believe local communities should be charging hefty licensing fees for these teams to relocate here.

If the Sacramento Kings wish to become the Anaheim Royals, then have them write a check for $50 million to be divided between the city of Anaheim and the county of Orange. The same is true for a professional football team. If they don’t want to write a check to move their franchise here, then they shouldn’t come here. No one’s self-esteem or well-being should be negatively impacted by not having a professional sports team in their community.

I’m sure by now I’ve managed to make every sports fan an enemy. That’s really not my intention—I only mean to point out that from a business and economic standpoint our county is better off without adding a professional sports franchise of any kind. Let’s face it: We get better seats by sitting in front of our HDTV sets watching a game anyway.

Bob Drake,

Costa Mesa

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