I don't normally read the sports page, but Porter called my attention to last Friday's Orlando Sentinel, and an outrageous statement by David Stern, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association. The Orlando Magic, our own NBA franchise, is currently trying to shake down the city for still more financial incentives not to pack up and go where the bribes might be greater.

What Stern said was this: "If a city builds a symphony hall, there is a cultural benefit to the city, despite the fact that the hall is not likely to make money. The same can be said for having an NBA franchise."

No matter what one thinks about the relative cultural merits of art and sport, the fallacy is unmistakable.

When the top Magic basketball player earns no more than the Orlando Philharmonic's principal oboist; when the team owes its survival to dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and massive fund-raising efforts; when our basketball team becomes a bona fide non-profit organization; then and only then will I consider seriously their claim to public funding.

My letter to the same effect was published in the Sentinel this morning.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 at 2:39 pm | Edit
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