February 04, 2003

Bengals sued for sucking.: County commissioner Todd Portune has sued the Cincinnati Bengals (and all NFL franchises) for violating the terms of their stadium lease by "failing to be competitive." Over in England, the BBC suggests West Ham fans should do the same.

posted by worldcup2002 to football at 12:01 PM - 10 comments

"These guys are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked" - H. Simpson I don't see this going anywhere. It would set a dangerous precedent for one thing and I can't see the courts setting it. But mostly...it makes zero difference how sweetheart your deal is, if you don't put butts in the seats you're going to lose money. The people of Cincinnati gots to stop attending games if they want the ownership to change ways. Alternative argument, from a business standpoint...it is a perfectly acceptable strategy to be the low-cost provider in a market. The B's can slash payroll to their heart's content, find that equlibrium ticket price where they sell alot of seats, and everybody's a winner. Maybe now a middle income family of four can afford two or three games a year (so what if it isn't the Buccaneers or the Raiders...they can't afford a Cadillac either but they're not blaming GM for that) because the bigwigs aren't going to waste their money. Let the market decide, not the courts.

posted by vito90 at 01:12 PM on February 04, 2003

Uhhh...GM being General Motors, not General Manager :)

posted by vito90 at 01:13 PM on February 04, 2003

HAHAAHA!! Oh man...this is the strangest world i have ever known.

posted by StarFucker at 01:27 PM on February 04, 2003

Tampa was this bad. Dare I say it, the Bills have been this bad. The Bengals are horribly mismanaged, but it hardly rises to the level of fraud. Plus, it's a taxpayer suit. Taxpayers really don't have standing to bring this sort of action as a rule.

posted by outside counsel at 05:17 PM on February 04, 2003

good point, counsel. This isn't going to go anywhere but it sure is funny. It's all just idiots and their mismanagement... if this went through, we'd have the right to sue all sorts of people for stupidity... oh what fun that would be...

posted by Bernreuther at 06:19 PM on February 04, 2003

Don't the Bengals have a deal where if they don't reach a certain threshold in ticket sales, the city has to make up the difference? I think someone here mentioned that once--the deal would be similar to what the Chargers have now in San Diego. In that case, the team really has no incentive to field a quality team since they'll "sell out" no matter how good the team is. Then you'd have a pretty good case for breach of contract.

posted by LionIndex at 09:45 AM on February 05, 2003

How the heck does a government get into a contract that ensures revenue for a corporation? Hmmm? Can you say: Negligence? Misuse of office? Conflict of interest? Dereliction of duty? Maybe the taxpayers' energies should be focused on the county commissioners instead.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:49 AM on February 05, 2003

As a San Diego resident, I've learned over the course of time that one should never underestimate the ineptitude of local government. Especially under our last mayor.

posted by LionIndex at 12:31 PM on February 05, 2003

The B's can slash payroll to their heart's content, find that equlibrium ticket price where they sell alot of seats, and everybody's a winner.
Well the problem is that it isn't just the price per ticket that factors into whether or not they are sold, it's the quality of the product as well. I don't care how low they lower the price of the tickets, people are not going to go to the game unless they're rooting for the other team.

That being said, personally I'm surprised the other NFL owners haven't stepped up to say anything about this. Since he took over in 1991, Mike Brown has been taking the Revenue Sharing check from the NFL and laughing all the way to bank. In 2002, profits actually went up 50 percent, due in large part to the fact that they don't have to foot the expense for the stadium. Personally if I was someone like Robert Kraft, who opened Gillette Stadium all on private money, I'd be rather pissed off that I was lining Brown's pockets.

posted by turacma at 12:46 PM on February 05, 2003

Maybe I'm stupid, but what the hell does the word "competitive" mean?!? If that's so damn subjective, how can it be in a contract? Could anyone possibly argue that the Bengals have even ATTEMPTED to be competitive? If the agreement was partially based on the team's being reasonably successful, how could a court not look at that? I know the taxpayers won't win on this one ... but I wonder why anyone would allow this in a deal at all.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:25 PM on February 06, 2003

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