Monday, March 12, 2007

Anti-Stadium Movement Has No Legs

Scanning through the headlines over at RSLFM this morning I found an interview with Brad Swedlund who is the organizer of the anti-stadium petition that you may have seen on the local news recently. Normally, I've kept my distance from any of the news regarding RSL and their quest for a stadium, but I wanted to share something in this interview that stuck with.

Before this point I knew very little about Swedlund and his motives for trying to hinder the progress of Stadium Real. I was hoping that he would have some solid evidence or facts on which to base is opposing view. But, Swedlund disappointed. From the interview:

"Do you feel any sense of hypocrisy about working for a company which is so heavily associated with the state-funded USTAR program?

Well, first, I started in on this as a citizen with the responsibility - please note - THE RESPONSIBILITY - to voice my opinion. I did so as the legislature was in session and it wasn't heard. The only recourse that seems reasonable is the referendum process. I believe that every time government gets involved in private enterprise, the situation needs to be taken seriously. It should also be taken case by case. Many companies supported by public funds as start ups have started as University/Private partnerships. They provide opportunities to take the best ideas from University research and develop private business.

Without state intervention it would be both legally and logistically difficult for these companies to start up. Often these companies provide high tech jobs that keep well educated Utahns in Utah. Some of these companies are already thriving companies and some of them have potential to become huge nationally. I did say "potential" and some of them might not make it in the long run. I have seen a number come and go including the old Cold Fusion group. I'm sure that many see the "potential" for soccer in Utah. Yes, there is potential but it seems unusual to equate the potential for major entertainment to the potential for major medical or technical breakthroughs. Apples and oranges I think," (

Swedlund's problem has little to do with the state getting involved in private industry, and more to do with his beef with the entertainment industry in general. Later in the in the interview when asked if he had ever been to an RSL match he said, "Plain and simple I can't justify the ticket price...I can't even justify the price of most movie tickets."

Up to this point I wondered whether his movement had legs. Now I'm not so worried.

A full-transcript of the interview can be found here:


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