Should Hospitals invest in Sports Bars?

As Washington debates the repeal of the ACA, right here in Sioux Falls one of our industrial hospital complexes seem to be so awash in money they are investing in a new Sports Bar at the Sanford Sports Complex. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think they own the original restaurant that was there, some ownership in the hotel and the sports complex itself which includes a basketball stadium.

Sanford has argued in the past that funding these things is a ‘small percentage’ of their entire budget. But I ask a two-part question, 1) If Sanford is losing money on these facilities, how does that affect healthcare costs in Sioux Falls and wages (SD is nearly last in nursing pay in the country) or 2) if these investments are actually making money, why aren’t healthcare costs going down and paying employees more?

Sanford would argue they need these amenities to bring in good doctors with families, I get it. But what should be the true duty of healthcare? Entertaining rich doctors or bringing top notch affordable healthcare to patients? I’ve never understood making a profit on healthcare, whether that is hospitals, pharma, insurance or even ambulance service.

While patients are drowning in debt or not getting care at all, our hospitals are worried about Sports Bars and basketball, and we wonder why healthcare in our country is such a mess.


#1 guest on 07.13.17 at 5:37 pm

anxiously awaiting list of patients not getting care at all because of the sports complex?

who do you know that attempted to go to emergency room at sanford and was turned away and not provided care?

I dont dispute the need or ownership of these facilities but I dont see anyone being turned away for care either as you implied in your last paragraph

#2 Emoluments Clause on 07.13.17 at 9:15 pm

The problem is that we have a curative health care system, which is “profit driven.” We need a preventative health care system and the ACA (ObamaCare) began to take us down that road, but the current Republican ideas in Washington would unfortunately move us back to a mere curative system, however.

The Republican ideas floating around Washington right now are more about protecting the insurance companies, the drug companies, and any corporations which directly profit from people being sick or getting sick. And this mindset, in turn, encourages ideas or does not find it strange to also support sports bars, cage fighting, and basketball arenas.

Have you noticed whenever there is a ribbon cutting in this town for a new health care facility, that they have yet to build a preventative center? Well actually, you would not need to build a preventative center, rather all you need is a system that promote lifestyle changes and early preventative coverage from day one without the “access to health care” nonsense, and that would be the best preventative medicine, but corporate America has not figured out a way to profit from preventative medicine yet, but if they could, they probably would be more receptive towards this preventative concept.

So in the meantime, we have a health care system of a curative nature, which wants everyone to keep popping pills and not change one’s lifestyle, so that you can continue to go to Sports Bars, or order a beer at a cage fight or basketball event, until the cocktail of drugs and extracurricular feasting lands you eventually in the hospital with the “for profit” curative health care system meter running in full health form….

#3 Ramona Munneke on 07.13.17 at 9:26 pm

This is just insane! They are trying to justify investing in this because they will get more doctors and families here if they have this Sport’s Bar, etc. Really? One more reason for not going to Sanford for our health care. Sanford, stay with healthcare issues instead of sport’s bars. This is the most asinine idea I ever heard of!

#4 The D@ily Spin on 07.14.17 at 8:23 am

That’s just how it is. Sanford wouldn’t be in the healthcare business if they couldn’t overcharge insurance and Medicare. Except in this town, the rich give the appearance they look poor. Here, rich wives need something frivolous to do so their husbands have time for a mistress. They have small olive oil shops or serve on a board that steers money into rich neighborhoods.
What’s wrong with sneaking out of your hospital room for a beer and a burger?

#5 Joe Smith on 07.14.17 at 8:28 am

Not that I usually defend Sanford, but in this case I do want to “defend” them. Sanford established a for-profit entity called Sanford Frontiers. This entity is the own that owns the restaurant and hotel and any other for-profit Sanford facility.

#6 l3wis on 07.14.17 at 9:43 am

Guest, ever had a collector from Sanford breathe down your neck?

Joe, well aware of the Frontier club, it came up when they built the hotel at Sanford’s main campus. My bigger point is that if Sanford has all this money to invest in for profit ventures, maybe they bring the cost of healthcare down a notch and pay the nursing staff more.

#7 anominous on 07.14.17 at 9:47 am

glad to hear the clumsy name “beef o’brady’s” has been put out of its misery. Well done, sanford.

#8 Emoluments Clause on 07.14.17 at 10:08 am

So let me get this right, Sanford took some non profit funds to establish a for profit corporation? How’s that legal?

And if it is, why don’t they make an even bigger for profit corporation and then turn those revenues over to their non profit activities to help keep health costs down…. Kind of like a church bake sale….. 😉

#9 Blasphemo on 07.16.17 at 2:24 pm

This all has Sports Nut Wanna-Be Basketball Star Kelby Krabbenhoft’s imprint everywhere you look. This richly-compensated EMPLOYEE is categorically unable to empathize with the health care/health insurance cost realities of the average citizen. All these $anford million$ going to build sports houses of worship and overseas clinics . . . . while people in SD are going bankrupt trying to pay for healthcare & health insurance. Denny & Kelby: you just keep deluding yourselves that you’re making a positive contribution to your neighbors, while in reality you’re merely gluttons for institutional branding and empire/legacy building.

#10 l3wis on 07.16.17 at 3:08 pm

Blas- You forgot to mention Sanford’s dirty little secret deal with Denny and FP. In exchange for Denny’s donation to the hospital, FP got exclusive rights to be the bill collector for Sanford. Something hardly ever mentioned in the BS sugar coated stories the local MSM prints.