--to the olympics.
First they tried just selling us the billion-dollar sports stadium, then they switched the bait to a plan for a New York City Olympics. Gee willickers, how can you be against that?
Both plans are ludicrous through and through, but I'm not going to go into the case here. Instead, I'm registering my amazement at the lead column on the front page of the NYTimes sports section today. I said the sports section!
There is no hard evidence that major sports events benefit their hosts. Building stadiums is often a Chamber of Commerce boondoggle, to put the Greatest Little Town in the World on the map.
Imagine how embarrassed New York would be right now if it had been stuck building new stadiums for the Mets and the Yankees only to have the blockhead owners and the dunderhead players stage a ruinous long layoff.
Sports have a close connection with bad civic values. There are high schools in New York spending money for football helmets while the city cannot provide enough textbooks to enhance the brains inside the helmets.
In the article, "THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS--
Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race," Richard Florida describes what he call the "creative class" as those who "do a wide variety of work in a wide variety of industries--from technology to entertainment, journalism to finance, high-end manufacturing to the arts. They do not consciously think of themselves as a class. Yet they share a common ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference, and merit. These are the engines of the new urban civilization, of the revival of (certain) American cities.
It is a telling commentary on our age that at a time when political will seems difficult to muster for virtually anything, city after city can generate the political capital to underwrite hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in professional sports stadiums. And you know what? They don't matter to the creative class. Not once during any of my focus groups and interviews did the members of the creative class mention professional sports as playing a role of any sort in their choice of where to live and work. What makes most cities unable to even imagine devoting those kinds of resources or political will to do the things that people say really matter to them?The creative class is not indifferent to athletic activities, but they are into active sports, from traditional ones like bicycling, jogging, and kayaking to newer, more extreme ones, like trail running and snowboarding.
Not once during any of my focus groups and interviews did the members of the creative class mention professional sports as playing a role of any sort in their choice of where to live and work.For the purposes of this argument, I think we can safely exclude spectating Olympic events from the category of "active sports," and safely include Olympic Games in the category of professional sports.