Rafi Kohan, Freelance Writer, Editor and Author of The Arena with Don Bauder

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rafi kohan photoIf you’ve ever wondered how they coordinate those fighter jet flyovers with the national anthem, how many hot dogs they serve in a day at Citi Field, how boozy pregame tailgates are kept in line, or what on earth AstroTurf is made of Richard and Joe’s guest, Rafi Kohan, helped answer those burning questions. They were joined by Don Bauder to discuss the business of modern stadium cost, financing, and politics.

the arena book coverRafi Kohan is a freelance writer and editor, and an amateur ivy groomer. Formerly, he served as deputy editor at New York Observer and has written for GQ, Men’s Journal, Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, Rolling Stone, and more. Rafi spent years crisscrossing the country visiting sports stadiums for his new book, “The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport.” Kohan explores the behind-the-scenes logistics and deeply ingrained traditions within these bustling facilities, cracking open a secret world of unforgettable characters — groundskeepers, mascots, halftime performers — who work tirelessly to make the live event worth the price of admission.

“Riotous fan behavior, behind-the-scenes machinations, and madcap histories dominate in this unrivaled exploration of the modern American sports stadium.”

Beginning with the “old-timers,” Kohan pays his respects to Chicago’s ivy-laced Wrigley and Green Bay’s lovable Lambeau, which have creakily adjusted to the twenty-first century while maintaining those age-old quirks fans have prized for generations. Juxtaposing these cherished time capsules with mighty new mammoths like Dallas’s shiny AT&T Stadium, Kohan examines the often-punishing realities of how they are built, from architectural ambition to controversial funding and political strong-arming.

qualcomm stadium photosDon Bauder joined the show to discuss San Diego stadium issues and what should be done with the Qualcomm Stadium site, a subject he covered in a recent article the Reader which has generated a lot of comments. He sticks around after the show for a bonus podcast about future of the Qualcomm stadium site.Photo of Don Bauder

Don Bauder became the financial editor and columnist for the San Diego Union in 1973. When the Union and Tribune merged in the early 1990s he remained at that post. In 1995, he was named senior columnist at the Union-Tribune. He retired from the U-T in March of 2003 and began writing his weekly column for the Reader in April of 2003. Now he writes a column every two weeks and contributes to News Ticker regularly.

Listen to a podcast of the show


Bonus podcast with Don Bauder