March 20, 2015
With considerable fanfare, the name of the new minor league baseball time that has migrated from New Britain to Harford has been announced. After multiple entries, 35,000 people voted on line and decided to call the team the Hartford Yard Goats. At first, I was disappointed that my name, The Fleecers – as this is what this team will do to the taxpayers – was not chosen. But the Yard Goats is even better.
A Yard Goat is the term used for a locomotive that moves rail cars in a rail yard. Apparently, this is a reference to bygone days when Hartford was a railway center, sort of like the Steelers refers to a bygone time when steel was made in Pittsburgh, before these good paying jobs for working class people were shipped overseas.
But the logo for the team does not depict a locomotive. It depicts a goat. To the average person, a Yard Goat will conjure the vision of a poorly-kept yard surrounded by a rusting chain link fence, with an abandoned boarded-up house, a few open tin cans and a goat chewing on the few stubbles of grass that remain. This is what the Democrats and the crony capitalists are doing to what was once the great city of Hartford. You couldn’t come up with a better name. It is as if the cartoonists’ union – if there is such a thing – rigged the voting.
The owners of the Yard Goats will reportedly be paying $500,000 a year to lease the stadium. The cost to build the stadium is $60,000,000, which be paid by wealthy people buying Connecticut bonds. With the usual cost overruns and feather bedding, it will probably cost $80,000,000 meaning that just to service the debt will be $5,000,000 – ten times the rent. This does not even include returning the principal to the bond holders. No wonder Governor Malloy plans to increase Connecticut’s bond portfolio by 40%. The Hartford politicians have stated that most of this money will come from “private” investors. If you believe this, I will be glad to sell you a bus line from New Britain to Hartford along with Adriaen’s Landing.
Have you ever wondered why some super star athletes make such ridiculous amounts of money? Do you wonder why the New York Jets are paying Darrelle Revis a five-year contract worth $70,000,000? It is because you, the taxpayer, pay for the stadium. And the real kick in the teeth is that even with Revis, the Jets will still be hopeless.
The owners of the teams, crony capitalists all, manipulate the political system so that they can get sweetheart leases. The family that owns the Yard Goats reportedly purchased the team for $16,000,000 in 2012. With the hard-working taxpayers allowing them to pay below market rates for the stadium rental, the team’s value will probably double. Will Rogers is right. We have the best politicians money can buy.