Stadium-Subsidy Supporters: Look Upon Greece's 2004 Olympic Venues and Despair


Buzzfeed has a great photo essay up of Greek ruins. Sadly, these ruins are from the 2004 Olympic Games. Just a decade ago, Greece spent a ton of money it didn't have after winning the right to help bankrupt itself by hosting the Olympic Games.

"The 2004 Games became the most expensive there had ever been after the original budget doubled to around £7 billion," writes Richard James. Pyrros Dima, a weightlifter turned politician, says "We spent a lot of money for some projects [that] are shut and rotting. There were projects that should have cost two and three million [euros] and suddenly became so big that they cost 13 and 14 million. There was no control."

Check out the whole pantheon here.

With Greek's example in mind, consider anew the future ruin that is a new, taxpayer-funded stadium for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings:

NEXT: Cops Release Name of Michael Brown Killer: Darren Wilson

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  1. Why do you hate civic pride?

    What a bunch of assholes.

    1. I hate civic pride because it’s used as a cover for bad actors.

      1. It’s just patriotism* writ small.

        (*in the sense that Samuel Johnson described it.)

        1. I read that as Samuel L. Jackson, then imagined him going on some profanity laced tirade about civic pride.

          1. Mutha fucka!

    2. What a bunch of assholes.

      We’re libertarians. Duh, of course we’re a bunch of assholes.

  2. I have a cunning plan: Move the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings to Greece.

    1. Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings

      …Oh, my!

    2. Hey, we’ll keep the Wings, thanks!

      The rest…

    3. If the Redskins moved to Greece could they keep their name?

        1. And the fans could whoop at the players, throw …uh, ears of maize and empty firewater bottles while chanting racist slogans?

          1. This being Europe, I imagine they’d take the Noble Savage view of things.

    1. I’m still unclear on what actually happened, but, of course, even suspects aren’t supposed to get shot when they’re unarmed. Not that circumstances couldn’t come out that make the shooting more justifiable than it seems now, but of course the police are going to say that now.

      1. I find it stupefying the incident wasn’t caught on a camera somehow. My default position is always to assume that the cops are lying when there’s no supporting evidence, but yeah, it’s probably a little premature to be making any kind of definitive statements about anything. The problem is, short of video evidence, are you really gonna trust the cops to conduct a fair investigation?

        1. There is no way a fair investigation will happen.

        2. You know, if I were pursuing a robber, and I chanced upon a suspect and wanted to detain him, I’d get out of my vehicle to talk to him, rather than trying to drag him in through the car window….

          The problem here isn’t whether Brown was a dangerous criminal or not. It’s that the cops acted like an occupying hostile force – a stupid one – and assaulted and injured people unnecessarily, imprisoned them unnecessarily and damaged their property unnecessarily.

          1. We clearly have a general and national problem with police misconduct and overreach. That’s the crux of this issue, because I doubt seriously these kinds of incidents would happen so frequently if the cops were operating within their supposed bounds.

          2. Even if he was a dangerous criminal, most accounts agree that he was shot in the back and then shot some more after he put his hands up to surrender. Even if he had just robbed a store and had gone for the cop’s gun, that is still not a “good shoot”.

        3. Holy shit! This is the first time I can remember a police force actually investigating a robbery!

          S.O.P. is what the PD did in the Boston area when told of a robbery and possible murder (no body found) – “Just sit tight and wait, he’ll eventually get picked up for something else.” And he did get picked up for something else all right – the marathon bombing. Those deaths and dismemberments are on the lazy PD’s hands.

    2. Just wait, the worse this gets, soon he’ll be a serial killer they were trying to round up. The cops are nothing if not predictable; that’s what happens when you specifically hire the stupidest people you can find for the job.

      1. The cops will portray him as some kind of dangerous monster while the community and media will portray him as an innocent child. I mean innocent in the sense of “he would never do anything wrong and says his prayers and takes his vitamins.”

        1. ^THIS^

          The truth, as usual, will likely be somewhere in between.

          1. So dangerous child or innocent monster?

      2. Was he near a park with children? I bet the next reason is that they were chasing pedobear and this poor guy looked like him.

    3. I see Anonymous whiffed another one.

      1. Probably, but the whiff could have forced Ferguson PD to release the real name.

    4. Well obviously he deserved summary execution despite being unarmed then. This is really the best lie they could come up with after a week? That is pathetic.

      1. The documents look legitimate to me. The problem is that they still will not release what actually happened with the shooting, so we have to continue to ask what they are hiding and why.

      2. Regardless if it is a lie or not: a police chief has fucked up to the point where his officers can’t apprehend a robbery suspect without triggering an uprising. Apprehending someone who just committed a robbery is a police force’s bread and butter.

        I think the debate as to whether Brown is a good guy or bad guy are completely fucking irrelevant. Unfortunately, that’s where the debate is going to go now.

        1. I agree. The only relevant question is whether there was an improper escalation of force.

        2. completely fucking irrelevant

          His race, too. Look how that went.

    5. Did the convenience store have a serveillance camera? If so that could clear that question up. Assuming the camera didn’t “malfunction” right around the time of the robbery, that is.

      1. They have a camera, and a pretty good shot of the guys committing the robbery. But I can’t make out if it is him.

        1. Of course not. Let me guess: “young black male(s)” but no discernable facial features visible?

          1. The guy in the video is huge; Brown was 6′ 4″ himself. It could be.

      2. Yes, they have the camera. There are B&W photos in the documents linked in the CNN article.

    6. How they can believe they have any credibility after going full jackboot for a week is astounding.

    7. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket. And he tried to hit on their wife…..Morgan Fairchild! Yeah, yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

  3. But San Antonio can still spend big $$ to steal the Raiders, right?

    1. “Steal?” Does Oakland own the Raiders?

  4. On the bright side, they’re holding up better than Sarajevo.

    1. Yeah, Zetra was not fun when I was there in 1997:


  5. There seem to be several reasons for support for sports subsidies. First, most people just don’t realize the scam that the subsidies are. That is, they do believe it brings economic progress. Second, pro teams do mean big business for portions of a city’s economy. I used to work in a hotel in the KC area – on the opposite side of town from the Chiefs’ stadium. And we would sell out for every home game. Third, there is the civic pride issue: cities increasingly sell it as not just the stadium but a whole “improvement” program e.g. downtown Cleveland.

    Those are all economic. The other big one is politics: for a lot of towns and teams moving would not matter. But imagine being the mayor and city council that “made” the Red Wings leave Detroit or the Chiefs leave KC or the Steelers leave Pittsburgh.

    1. Third, there is the civic pride issue: cities increasingly sell it as not just the stadium but a whole “improvement” program e.g. downtown Cleveland.

      I’m not sure how you class that as “economic” other than in the sense of “Shitholeville is a great community for your employees”, but I think businesses are going to be looking for tax breaks rather than budget busters.

      1. Yeah, that’s probably a fair criticism. I was thinking along the lines of “If we do all these improvements to our city, we will get more tourists and more money.” It’s crap, but it can, and has, been sold that way.

        1. Tourists go to see things they can’t see in their home town (mostly).

          Even if the stadium did draw tourists, that’s 80 days a year maximum.

    2. It didn’t cost the Seattle Mayor or the Governor their jobs when the Sonics left. Plus, despite the grumbling on sports radio, people still go to Starbucks.

      1. Right. And I did qualify my statement with some towns and teams. I don’t know Seattle, but would the Seahawks leaving be different?

    3. I think the biggest economic reason for most stadium support is from the local news. Of course newspapers, radio and TV want pro sports locally because it is easy money for them.

      When the stadium backers start pushing for more subsidies they are put on air to warn everyone of the dire consequences of a team leaving. The local cranks who don’t really care if they left are not let through the call screeners on the local sports talk radio stations.

      Basically stadium money from tax payers is really subsidized content for the media. Why shouldn’t FOX and ESPN have to pay for the true cost for production of their content?

      1. These are good points. Team X being in town buys a few ads on radio/tv/newspaper. If Team X leaves, said radio station loses some revenue and the upper mgt of the station/paper lose commissions and bonus money.

        And it isn’t just sports. Chicago Tribune and Nordstrom teamed up to get Nordstrom tax breaks to build in Chicago.

    4. And we would sell out for every home game.

      Was the hotel profitable? How about the other 357 days of the year?

      Seems to me if it was that much of a money-maker the team would have built the hotel.

  6. Imagine how moribund the Grecian economy would look if they hadn’t stimulated in 2004!

    1. Grecian? Isn’t the adjective “Greek?” I think a Grecian is a person from Greece who dyes his black hair blacker.

      1. “Grecian” is mostly used to refer to the origin of urns in my experience.

        1. Urns filled with hair dye? That one sings odes to?

          1. The Greeks ode a lot of money and still haven’t repaid it.

            1. I urn for a better class of pun.

              1. Yeah, this thread has gone to Hellenic handbasket.

  7. Obviously, the Greeks are missing an opportunity to stimulate their economy by building replacements for all these rotting facilities.


    1. First, they could pay the vandals (are they still around?) to go in and finish the demolition.

      1. The vandals are presently tied up working for Putin in the Ukraine.

        Perhaps the Caliphate will be able to help once they’ve settled the issue of “Who is the One True Follower of the Prophet” amongst themselves.

      2. They sacked Rome, not Greece.

        1. Wait, who are we talking about? The Vandals or the Seljuq Turks?

        2. The Vandals raided Greece, too, I believe.

  8. Look on Silicon Valley and despair:

    “Levi’s Stadium: 49ers happy, Santa Clara may be on hook”
    “Back in November 2006, York projected the stadium would cost $600 million to $800 million to build. The price tag ended up at $1.27 billion, and it likely will take years to know how good of a deal Levi’s Stadium is for Santa Clara taxpayers.”…..687409.php

    1. “and it likely will take years to know how good bad of a deal Levi’s Stadium is for Santa Clara taxpayers”


    2. A billion plus dollars to watch a team play second fiddle to the Seahawks.

    3. Jesus, I don’t think even the costs of military hardware escalate that quickly.

      1. I think the F35 is coming close.

    4. You guys must have sprung for the extra fancy anti-bird glass.

      The new Vikings stadium is embroiled in a big controversy because they won’t spring an extra $1M for special bird safe glass.…..08341.html

      The Audubon society claims that the new building will cause thousands of bird deaths.

      I love it when there are fights where I dislike all sides. No matter who loses, I win.

      1. “The Audubon society claims that the new building will cause thousands of bird deaths”

        Bird deaths are a feature, not a bug, from my POV.

        Seagull crap on my car AGAIN this morning.

      2. No matter who loses, I win.

        Yeah but in the end, no matter who wins, you lose.

        1. Unless the birds are all against the stadium and commit mass kamikaze to destroy it. That would be pretty cool.

      3. The Audubon society claims that the new building will cause thousands of bird deaths.

        Very simple solution. Audubon Society writes a $1M check for the windows, problem solved.

      4. Pope Jimbo|8.15.14 @ 12:21PM|#
        “You guys must have sprung for the extra fancy anti-bird glass.”

        Not me. Somehow the SF residents managed to foist this one off on the Santa Clara Suckers!

      5. WTF? They could put up a canopy twice a year during the migratory seasons and take it down the other 9 or 10 months of the year. The canopy would cost 5K, cleaning it twice a decade is another 1K, and a nice union job to put it up and take it down is another 5K. It’ll take 100 years to reach 1 million.

  9. The problem is that locations bidding will see the Greek failure and think, “they just didn’t know what they were doing…we do and we won’t fail, we’re better than that”

    1. Yep. Pretty much what we were told about Vancouver 2010.

      Then, ten billion pazoozas later….

  10. Here is the photographic evidence:

    1) Washington Post has the highest quality image I have found (scroll down and look at the first slide)

    There you can see the clothing of the robber (this is important, so take a close look). And, since he used assault and battery to complete the theft, this is more than mere shoplifting.

    Basically the robber is confronted by the store owner. The robber assaults the store-owner, who then cringes away in fear.

    Now let us turn to the only picture I can readily get of the freshly deceased Brown, the first article on reason magazine. Again, note the clothes… and his position.

    1) The clothes Brown is wearing look very similar if not identical to the clothes the robber is wearing.

    2) The fact that Brown was on his front does not mean he was gunned down from behind; hand-gun bullets impart very little momentum to the people they hit, and people naturally will drop forward if they lose consciousness while standing.

    1. Whups! This was supposed to go here.

  11. Why are infographics always annoyingly long and vertical?

    1. So that they fit nicely in standard blog formats?

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