So, I am researching upcoming concerts. Don’t worry about who, it’s not your business (and it’s a little embarrassing). I come across ‘Talking Stick Resort’ in Phx, AZ. I was puzzled, knowing this was a tour hitting the largest venues in the largest cities. Generally speaking, that is only venues with names like ‘pepsi center’. They are 18,000 seat venues that your city’s basketball and hockey teams play in. ‘Talking Stick Resort’ sounded like a small 2,300 person theater in the back of a native American casino.
Because I know more than anyone you know about concerts and venues and ticketing and how it all works (in a short answer: quite poorly for fans) I did some digging.
I found out that Talking Stick Resort is formerly America West Arena. Quite literally, as I suspected, where the basketball and hockey teams play. At least I know the Suns still play there, don’t know about the hockey team. I haven’t lived there in 25 years, and hockey didn’t exist then. So, I am boycotting the very notion!
Here is my concern, and why I write. Note, this is not well researched, and I am working off of memory. I am wrong, please do add in comments, and I will gladly update and acknowledge.
Here is the thing, we (the US Fed Treasury) does not tax Native American Casinos. I assume Talking Stick Resort made the millions it would cost to buy naming rights from an ‘indian’ casino.
So.. ‘we‘ don’t tax the casinos because the assumption is they will take all this money and spend it in their community. It is meant as an apology for the last couple of hundred years. Since many (and every one I have been do) native American communities are a shit show with little to no water or electricity… this seems like a fair deal.
It would seem that Talking Stick Resort took some of these millions and bought naming rights. Until their communities have clean running water and electricity… maybe naming rights shouldn’t be the biggest priority with extra cash. Yes, this is me the white devil telling them how to spend their money…
ummm. our money?
If that is the case, then that is fucked up. You know how people don’t want to give panhandlers money, under the assumption they will just use it to buy drugs? Now, I don’t want to give money to that specific native community because they will just use it to buy naming rights.
Lastly, there is the surreal fucked up bonus of us white folk spending our money buying stadiums for these billionaires, instead of helping our own communities. That is not lost on me here… I am just sad to see that roll over to other communities that can less afford such a silly luxury. I mean… let me process this. We give the native communities access to do whatever they want with their money… and they end up ALSO subsidizing our asshole billionaire sports teams owners?
I wish I could be like Chief Joseph, and ‘fight no more, forever’. However, as long as this shit goes down… I will be your eyes and ears. Unless you don’t want me to be. Then, I will just be my own vigilant protector.
** in the interest of fairness and clarity, I emailed the casino through their webpage asking these very questions. If they respond, I 100% promise to acknowledge and post their response. This isn’t meant to be a ‘gotcha’ piece. That benefits no one. I just want some answers. As of Spring 2017, there has been no response. Assume there has been no response no matter when you are reading this. If they do, I assure you I will speed back here and acknowledge.
*** in the interest of interest – what the hell is a talking stick? Well, it is just exactly what it sounds like
The Talking Stick is a tool used in many Native American Traditions when a council is called. It allows all council members to present their Sacred Point of View. TheTalking Stick is passed from person to person as they speak and only the person holding the stick is allowed to talk during that time period.