Taxpayer money should not be used on stadiums

I’m a huge sports fan and I’m on board with this. If team owners want free hand-outs to build their stadiums they should use KickStarter.

I agree 100% with the OP.

Now, Shodan: Out of curiosity, how does the Minnesota Republican Party feel about this issue?

It happens. Whenever an Asian car manufacturer talk about a plant in the US, states fall all over themselves offering incentives.

I think this was in the 80s when TPTB in Columbus OH wanted to build an arena/stadium to attract either an NFL or MLB team. Or maybe it was the convention center with a stadium as part of the complex. Either way, after the 2nd or 3rd time the voters voted NO, TPTB had a brainstorm! Next time around they built the issue around the Stadium/Arena AND COTA (Central Ohio Transport Authority), tying in the subsidy for the bus system. In what I thought was a wonderful display of “What Part Of NO Didn’t You Understand The First 3 Times”, it was voted down.

And 3 months later they had to have a special election to get approval for the COTA subsidy. Which passed.

You think this is a partisan issue?

If anything, I’d think liberals would be more in the “sportsball is a waste of time amirite?” camp.

It happens all the time. Some factory wants big tax breaks to come in, and promise jobs. They collect their breaks and lay everyone off five years later.
And pretty much every state offers incentives for film companies to come in and film on location. The competition has driven the breaks so high that it almost never pays.

But with a set of plausible but wrong assumptions it isn’t hard to come up with numbers that make it sound like a good deal - though in reality it is not. That’s why I’d want a promise of repayment. If the owners are so convinced that the local government will profit, they should have no problem making this promise.

Some hope.

Even if 51% of the population vote in favour of it, that only gives them the moral authority to give their own money to this idiotic cause, not everyone else’s.

The SDMB tends to accept cites from left-wing sources at face value, and dismiss right-wing sources out of hand.

One of the ideas for funding the Vikings stadium was to increase taxes on Vikings executives and players, and sports memorabilia sold at the stadium. That would have been OK with me - it wasn’t OK with the Vikings.

Another idea was to expand gambling. Also not something to which I am unalterably opposed - gambling is a voluntary tax on stupidity, but I would rather increase the gambling and spend the money on something useful. Neither idea got anywhere.


Taxpayer money should never support sports. Not only the stadiums, but at the high school and college level. You want to play a game? You pay for it. You want your kids to play a game? Again, you pay for it.

You own a multi-million dollar NFL franchise? Build your own stadium.

The taxpayer does not need to subsidize athletics. Let those who play or profit from it pay their own way.

Our local University finally admitted that they were losing 200k or so on the football and wrestling teams every year. The joined a different conference and shut the football team down in favor of soccer and hockey. A group of the football players were on the news when this took place claiming that they had the right to expect a football team be available to them.

UNO ends Football and wrestling

The revenue lost was being made from tuition and fees payed by all of the students.

How do you feel about gym class?

Personally, I’m for youth sports, I think they’re an important part of learning and that the city/state should subsidize them to some extent. Professional adult sports teams are another thing entirely. They’re a private business and should succeed or fail on their merits, same as any other private business. I oppose tax breaks for Boeing and Toyota too. But some tax breaks are one thing, “Here, we’ll build your billion dollar facility for you” is several orders of magnitude worse.

Hell, I’m not even a fan of the monopoly protections the NFL and MLB are granted by the feds either. I’d like to see new leagues sprout up to challenge them once in awhile.

As a general rule, I agree with the OP, but I do think that’s a little over-simplified. As a few others mentioned, there’s other benefits to a stadium besides just the team it’s ostensibly built for. To a certain extent, there is part of that city identity that gets associated with its sports teams, and that has some value, though it’s difficult to quantify how much. Further, those stadiums can be used for other functions like concerts, rallies, festivals, etc.

The problem really arises in the fact that these teams can hold the city ransom. For a smaller market team, like the Titans or Buffalo or Jacksonville, considering there’s other cities where they can get more revenue, if they have to build their own stadiums, then no small-market city is ever going to get a sports franchise again, unless they demonstrate their desire and ability to support a team and one of those major markets no longer can. The other problem is, even if many cities were to stop saying they’ll pay for a stadium, unless every city is on the same page, someone is going to volunteer public money. And right now, LA is so desperate for a football team, if a smaller market wants to keep their team, they have to spend money. It’s an unfortunate consequence of the public interest in professional sports and the longstanding precedent of government endorsing sports are part of cultural identity.

I’m not against public funding of stadiums, per se, IF the city owns it, with a plan to make good public use of it and then has a long term lease with the team, backed up by the league, to ensure that the costs not associated with other public functions are covered, with interest. After all, the city sets aside plenty of other land and builds infrastructure on it for other purposes, and I don’t think a sports facility is necessarily out of the question. HOWEVER, realistically speaking, that’s just not going to happen. Overwhelmingly, cities get shafted financially and hit up for a new stadium every 20-25 years for a new stadium, even if the existing one is still completely adequate. The only reason teams demand new stadiums is because they know they can. After all, the Rams stadium is only 20 years old, and talks are also starting for a new one for the Redskins too, which is 18 years old, but at the same time, Lambeau field is pushing 60 years old. Hell, as a Redskins fan, I wish they still played at RFK.

I think it’s more useful to call it by its right name: exercise aversion therapy.

(I belatedly realize that this is a bit off topic, so if this issue goes any further it should probably be spun off into a new thread.)

I think that tax payer money should definitely be spent on improving infrastructure, increase business opportunities, and luring rich investors to an area. That said, all major sports teams owners are obscenely rich, the benefits of having a new stadium are exaggerated, and ultimately the property is privately owned and disproportionately enrich the team itself. For those reasons, I would single out sports arenas as a thing that I would require a supermajority of taxpaying voters to approve of before giving them any public assistance

City and teams used to be linked. But I work a few blocks from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara where the San Francisco 49ers play. So today, not so much.

Are you saying that your typical San Franciscan looks down his nose at Santa Clara? I’m shocked!! :smiley:

There are three teams in the NFL that don’t even play in their home states.

The NFL is pulling a fast one on us all by limiting the number of franchises to a few less than the market demand. A Congress with an eye towards justice would force the league to grant a franchise to any city or region that wanted one in return for the protections the NFL gets against anti-trust litigation.

Well I guess that’s one way to completely water down the NFL so the quality suffers horribly ;).

This would be a horrible idea, FWIW.