It’s tempting to suggest that this may be a trend—after all, a handful of local mayors (Anaheim’s Tom Tait, Oakland’s Libby Schaaf, Minneapolis’s Betsy Hodges, and Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, most notably) have been pushing back against sports subsidy demands for a few years now, with some success. (Tait actually got Angels owner Arte Moreno to back down on his demands to be gifted free land for development; Nenshi has held off the Calgary Flames owners’ requests for as much as $ billion in arena funds for several years now, mostly by saying, “Show me what’s in it for my citizens.”)
Many cities and ball clubs are now openly expressing support for LGBT inclusion by having their own Pride Nights. The St. Louis Cardinals, for example, will hold their first-ever Pride Night on Friday, Aug. 25, and although the group Pride St. Louis has held unofficial events at Cardinals games in past years, a pro team has a marketing power and reach that’s practically unrivaled. While Pride St. Louis told me that they typically brought 100-200 fans on their own Pride Nights, the Cardinals said that they have sold nearly 2,400 tickets through the promotion for Friday’s game.