Thursday, February 17, 2005

809 Howard Dean and the NHL

Not even a news junkie like me could find a relationship between Howard Dean starting as chair of the DNC and the ending (officially) of the NHL season that never was.

The players and owners have plenty of money. They were only a few million off in the salary cap figures--I don't know about you, but I wouldn't quibble about 4 or 5 million.

The people I feel sorry for are the businesses in our "arena district." Not only the small bricks and mortar ones, but the little guy who was maybe selling souvenirs on the street corner to the crowds, and of course the waitress and busboy group who hadn't been able to set aside a strike fund. The Blue Jackets have already lost a number of their employees who have been waiting since September for something to happen.

Columbus defeated an attempt to build the arena with tax dollars in 1997, so it was built with private money (fortunately). But the city spent a bundle on improvements for the area, and was benefiting from the district's business. Also, I suspect the fans have a short attention span. The base was just getting solid here.

In December, Business First Editorial commented:

"They gave parts of downtown a vibrancy they'd never seen. They helped serve as a catalyst for urban redevelopment. They offered Central Ohioans prospects for fun (if not pricey) entertainment. They gave us something to talk about, even if we didn't fully appreciate the nuance of a left wing lock.

Millionaires fighting over money is always a loathsome sight. This battle already is plenty ugly. And as it goes on, the future fans of the league will get trampled some more. Silly us, and we thought sports was simply a diversion."

Howard Dean, meanwhile, called for a media blackout of his first talk with Richard Perle, then changed his mind, then called for the resignation of some GOP who opined off the cuff that the Dems were the party of "Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart and Howard Dean." Well, at least he didn't ask for millions. Sports and politics. Politics and sports. Poliorts.

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