Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scott Maxwell Really Needs To Be Called Out

I opened up my Orlando Sentinel today, and turning to the Local section, I found avery peculiar piece written by Scott Maxwell. I expect Magic and community negativity from Mike Thomas, not so much from Maxwell who I normally regard as a great writer for our paper. My biggest beef is that he misleads the public in saying that taxpayers pay for the Magic's payroll. Come on now:

A few weeks ago, ESPN released some astounding figures about how much sports teams spend.

Your Orlando Magic ranked fifth-highest…in the world.

With an average of more than $6.3 million per player, our hometown team beat out 195 other NFL, soccer and baseball teams — not to mention every other team in the NBA, except the Lakers.

I suppose we could simply tip our hats to Rich DeVos and his $89 million payroll…if we weren't the ones subsidizing it.

But we are.

That's because the NBA is a broken business model.

These private ventures simply cannot cover their own costs. So they get taxpayers to bail them out.

Nothing paints a clearer picture of that than the new arena.

Remember: The whole reason we built this thing was because DeVos claimed he couldn't make money in the old one.

Now, if your business was spending too much, you'd cut costs.

In the world of pro sports, however, you just stick it to taxpayers.

The Magic demanded a new $480 million arena. The politicians obliged. Ultimately, the team's total contribution of $60 million contribution represented less money than the team spends on player salaries in a single year.

Made me want to bash my head against the wall. Plenty of common sense lacking here. I feel like he missed a lot of other points. One big one is the team has to compete to put butts in those new seats. It isn't a guarantee, but high payrolls give franchises a higher probability of competing for championships. Now, this season wasn't a good example for us with our early exit.

It's more than fine to have complaints on which players should be getting that money. Feel free to pray for a smaller salary cap. Until that happens, tickets and concession prices are high everywhere. Even with our brand spanking new facility, that's internationally acclaimed as one of the best stadiums, the prices are still not THAT outrageous. You get a ton of entertainment, food, and bar options. This building makes money on the weekends as a club.

This isn't a Magic issue, it is an NBA issue. Just look at Sacramento and the same situation they're in now that we were in half a decade ago. I believe Maxwell freaked out about the Magic having such a high payroll, and seeing that we got knocked out in the 1st round triggered this article. Plus, he's complaining about the price of playoff tickets.

This isn't the preseason. Rich DeVos is at the very tail end of his life. He's stated before that he'll shell out of the money for a championship. As long as the demand is immensely high as it currently is for the Magic and the Amway Center, there's no reason for prices of anything to drop.

I think Maxwell also drastically misses the point about how the Magic are not the only show in town that uses the Amway Center. It's why we're getting the 2012 All-Star Game. It's why we've already seen some phenomenal concerts occur this year (Lil' Wayne, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi) with more to come this summer (Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj).

On a more minor scale, you have the Predators as well. This building is the foundation of revitalizing Church Street. It's a big reason why the pending performing arts center will be created. The buzz is coming back to a city whose future was in limbo not that long ago.

The comments section of that article is starting to fill up so there's obviously people for and against Maxwell. So Scott, I'm sorry you can't satisfy your son all the time. Can't be the perfect parent. It's a privilege to have a professional team, not a right.

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