If you go back and review how the Sonics left...no one in the city government cared to launch a new arena. They were playing in a place that needed massive renovation...which wasn’t going to occur, and the city felt that they weren’t drawing any tax revenue or money for town.
After the Sonics left, then the town realized that they had screwed up and there was a base of income related to basketball.
Sufficient to come even close to paying for the facilities?
Cincinnati and Hamilton County are getting screwed on the Bengals' stadium and one of the terms of the agreement to keep the Bengals was that there couldn't be a tax on the tickets to pay for the stadium if sales tax revenues came up short.
I think the best thing to happen would be for cities to just start refusing to pay for these millionaires' playgrounds. If you have fewer cities willing to pay than you have teams, then the threats of moving the team won't work even on those cities that feel they must pay.
“This paper reviews the empirical literature assessing the effects of subsidies for professional sports franchises and facilities. The evidence reveals a great deal of consistency among economists doing research in this area. That evidence is that sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates.” - http://econjwatch.org/articles/do-economists-reach-a-conclusion-on-subsidies-for-sports-franchises-stadiums-and-mega-events
subsidized businesses are the dumbest things ever.
let them make a profit and buy their own crap