Skip to comments.Flashback: NFL teams score $7 billion in taxpayer subsidies on stadiums
Posted on 09/25/2017 6:04:50 AM PDT by TigerClaws
(2015 story) The New England Patriots kicked off the 2015 NFL season last week against conference rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Forget about the final score of the game. The real losers werent on the field. They were sitting in the stands at Gillette Stadium or on their couches at home.
They were the American taxpayers.
The Patriots built the impressive Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, but it came at a hefty price tag to taxpayers: $72 million. Through the government, we funded 17 percent of the stadiums total cost.
The Patriots arent alone. The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled down $171.6 million in public funding for their stadium, 61 percent of the total cost. Its no understatement to say that stadium truly belongs to the people of Pittsburgh.
And Indiana fans shouldnt be too happy that the Colts secured $619 million in taxpayer subsidies almost nine times more than what was given to the Patriots.
Overall, taxpayers have spent nearly $3 billion on the 16 stadiums that will host NFL games during the seasons opening weekend. And over the past couple of decades, weve given NFL teams nearly $7 billion total in aid for their stadiums.
But perhaps this is a good example of a public investment. Americans, after all, love their sports stadiums. And my fellow New England Patriots fans tout the jobs created in Foxboro by the Gillette stadium and accompanying stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Proponents of the subsidies say that sports teams bring to the local economy is worth the investment.
Theres a catch though: many economists agree that the evidence doesnt back that claim up. A study by Robert A. Baade and Victor A. Matheson explained:
While it is undeniable that sports fans around the country and around the world spend significant sums on spectator sports, in the absence of such entertainment opportunities, their spending would be directed elsewhere in the economy. A night at the ballpark means more money in the players and team owners pockets, but it also means less money in the pockets of local theater or restaurant owners.
Far from pumping money into the local economy, stadium subsidies are merely shifting money from ordinary taxpayers to large corporations. Were taking money away from some parts of town so that business can boom closer to the stadium. And the small increase in tourism that the stadiums generally attract doesnt come close to covering what the public pays to make it happen. Its a false investment that were being forced to make, and its no wonder were not seeing a return.
But whats the harm of building one more stadium? Further evidence suggests that government favoritism actually hurts areas in which it occurs. Aaron Gordon, writing for the Pacific Standard remarks:
The problem arises when our children become under-educated, our police forces understaffed, and our firehouses emptied while stadiums are built with those same dollars. The problem becomes an epidemic when its $31 billion-with-a-B spent by American taxpayers subsidizing privately-owned stadiums, and a merely 20-year-old stadium is being replaced months after the city its in threatened to raise taxes or shrink the budget by $20 million. The problem becomes unsolvable when voters rarely get to actually vote on the issue, and when they vote no, the stadiums get built anyway.
Its a shameful example of corporate welfare, or the governments financial support of big businesses that that hire lobbyists to secure special favors from Washingtonat the American taxpayers expense.
In an economic climate where were footing the bills for big businesses, its no wonder our generations entrepreneurs and small business owners are having a hard time. In fact, were seeing a decline in the overall startup rate from 12 to 13 percent in the 1980s to 7 to 8 percent today.
We need lawmakers to level the playing field so that everyone has a chance to win. And if the government is going to act as a referee, it needs to make a commitment to enforce the rules fairly.
Thats the only kind of game were willing to play.
Can we make the subsidies contingent upon showing respect for the flag?
Can we pull the money?
No more taxpayer funded stadiums.
They don’t want to be the football league of this nation.
Let them find another.
I'm writing my congressperson, Karen Handle, Republicant, (who I haven't heard a peep from since her special election) and asking that the NFL's anti-trust waivers be thoroughly reviewed.
Anti-trust waivers and taxpayer subsidies.
WE THE PEOPLE pay for the NFL. Boycott watching, merchandise, advertisers, and turn off the spigot of taxpayer money flowing to the League and they’d implement a behavior code during the national anthem.
Notice they stood for “God Save the Queen” yesterday. They wouldn’t dare insult fans in England. American fans it’s fine to insult.
Remember when the Pats played the “maybe we won’t stay in MA” charade in order to get that funding?
Naming rights to the stadiums are sold to banks and other companies who plaster their corporate name/logo on the edifice and use it for PR reasons. After subsidizing the construction of these stadiums, why aren’t the taxpayers getting a cut of this income stream?
I think it is the states and municipalities giving these sweetheart deals.
It is OUT money. We the taxpayers.
We pay for the stadium means these clowns work for us.
Add this to the state law books:
“Any publicly funded stadium or sports venue must perform the National Anthem (live or by tape) prior to the holding of a sporting event. Any participant in that event must stand with respect for the Anthem or they are barred from participation.”
They work for us!
Show respect or the hell off of OUR field!
I’m writing my congressperson, Karen Handle, Republicant
You’ll get a form letter back that thanks you for expressing your concerns, saying that you can “rest assured” that the congresswoman will take your views into consideration. The usual BS from the Swamp that is uses to pacify constituents.
Now, if you were a well heeled political group or an established company they will actually listen to you. Money talks on Capitol Hill.
Change their name to the New England Pussyhats
“Can we pull the money? “
Too late. They already have it.
Cut the funding. Stop supporting these anti-American commie thieves.
Politics and sports have nothing to do with each other. None of them should be invited to the white house.
Never was crazy about Jimmy Johnson but he won me over when after winning the first Superbowl and Clinton invited the team to the white house, jimmy said “No, thanks, Mr President. I’m going fishing.”
Of course Jerry Jones sucked up and said “We’ll be there , Mr President. Even though he hated Clinton when he ran for governor and always supported Clinton’s opponents.
Agreed. This needs to stop. Especially since they thumb their noses at most of the taxpayers are against what they’re doing on the field now.
One lawmaker already suggesting the taxpayer money STOP:
We don’t have evacuation centers for citizens living in hurricane zones but we have billions of dollars to prop up white liberal elites so they can spend hundreds of dollars for ‘ a night out’?
Gimme a break.
Let the damn white liberal elites pay for their own damn ‘entertainment’... and NOT get it off the backs of working Americans...
End this NOW!
You’re right. NOW is the time...
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