February 1, 1998 in Sports

Letters To The Editor

 

Success costly to taxpayers

Whenever a sports team does well in Washington state, I have to watch my wallet. When the Mariners went to the playoffs, the governor and the Legislature set aside all other business to build them a new stadium, at taxpayer expense. Not to be outdone, the Seattle Seahawks demanded and got their own stadium, even though they never win anything.

Next, the Washington State Cougars went to the Rose Bowl. Not long after the game, the school announced we taxpayers would pay head coach Mike Price $450,000 per year. This is more than we pay the president of the United States, the governor or any of our Congress members.

Now, of course, the head coach at the University of Washington has demanded and received a substantial raise. We can expect the salaries of assistant coaches will also be raised and other expenses devoted to the football teams will skyrocket. Of course, the presidents of these universities and other high muckety-mucks will have to have their salaries raised proportionately.

It seems appropriate that a university the size of WSU should not make it to the Rose Bowl any more frequently than once in 67 years. The fact a school of 20,000 students might compete successfully against giant institutions like the University of Michigan indicates too great a portion of the taxpayers’ money is being spent on football.

I would rather see reports that the students at Washington’s universities were developing excellent skills in business and the arts.

Terrence V. Sawyer Spokane

Playfair marketed poorly

I’m an avid horse racing fan who recently moved to the Inland Northwest from King County. I have many explanations as to why Playfair is struggling to succeed.

First, its marketing and advertising stinks. The newspaper ads never mention the other race tracks they bring in via satellite. They have little or no promotions to attract people. There are no visible signs or directions for the track on Sprague. The customer service representatives are moderately ignorant about horse racing. The one time I called, one of my three basic questions was answered. The gal didn’t even know what SA (Santa Anita) stood for. Also, the race results are not printed regularly in The Spokesman-Review. The Washington and California tracks need to get regular coverage in the newspaper.

When Playfair frustrates a fan like myself, how is it going to attract the general public? The “sport of kings” is a fun and exciting form of entertainment. And I want Playfair to succeed. The question is, do they?

Michael Thain Chewelah


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