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January 15, 2009 - 2:19pm

Buffalo News says cancel ESG

posted by Brian Hillabush in basketball, sports, Empire State Games, volleyball, wrestling.

 Last week I wrote about the cutbacks and possible $300 charge for the Empire State Games.

Keith McShea followed up with a great story in the Buffalo News today, basically saying the games are dead and should just be canceled.

 

Hopefully some sort of funding can be restored. State funding for the Games went from $2.7 million to zero. The Games can certainly be streamlined — a scholastic-only competition isn’t the worst thing. But making athletes pay? No way. How about cutting funding in half? Since when does Albany work this quickly and decisively?

The state’s announcement included the caveat that for the 2010 Games, scheduled to be held in Buffalo, that there is “hope of reinstating the suspended competitions, as well as revisiting the new fee structure.”

But we know how that goes. Once something is cut from a budget, good luck getting it back.

 

The story is a good read and makes some great points. As one of many Empire State Games fans, I am sad to hear about all these cut-backs. But I hate to say it, this is the beginning of the end.

 

Gabor Deutsch
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When you have professional athletes getting paid millions of dollars a year it makes other amerature competition just for fun and at the participants expense. The word "economy" is used in everyones vocabulary on a daily basis. Dont think for one minute that scouts and participants of these games arent looking for the big prize. I think the idea of making individuals pay to play is wrong. I do understand that it is a way to show true talent but it takes money to make money. When I was young we were lucky someone even kept score of the game. It was recreation. The first three years evans ice rink opened I paid over three hundred dollars to be able to play (not counting equipment) and minimum wage was like 1.00 an hour ? Not everyone is a pro but everyone deserves a chance to play. If you want exposer then you must pay. What happen to fun ?
Chris Chilano
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As a former participant in the ESG, it would be a shame to see it go. It's not about money or fame, it's about a chance for that 1 or 2 kids to get noticed to possibly go to the next level and maybe, just maybe, find that dream...for me and everyone else, it was an opportunity to experience another level and to compete against great athletes across the state. I for one hope it continues.
Brian Hillabush
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I agree Chris, 100-percent. But if they are going to charge kids $300, there is no way that you are going to get all of the best athletes. They can use that money for AAU or a clinic. I'm a huge ESG fan and enjoy it every summer. This stinks.
Gabor Deutsch
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I was never good enuff for ESG but I found a way to pay to play hockey. We all were athelets as I remember. And I also remember there were sponsors for some of the money to support us. Pontillos, ponderosa, McDonalds. Many more. If people want to save the "games" ya gotta go commercial. Otherwise its for "fun" .

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