End Public Financing Of Pro Sports Stadiums

in Economics/Politics by

If you love sports, you need to read this article. Everyone across the political spectrum should be opposed to publicly financed stadiums. The Oakland Raiders have recently announced that they are moving to Las Vegas. Their new stadium will be partly paid for with $750 million in public financing.

If you hate sports, you will love this article. Show this to everyone you know, because your tax dollars shouldn′t be used to pay for other people′s entertainment. Unless you spend all of your free time in the library or at the park, your fun is either paid for by corporate sponsors or out of your own pocket. Major league sports are a huge business that makes millionaires out of the players and billionaires out of the owners. Pro sports teams can easily support themselves through ticket sales, sponsorships, and licensed merchandise.

Proponents of stadium subsidies insist that they are necessary to attract a team to a city. And yet teams pit cities against each other, forcing them to build even more lavish stadiums while tearing down historic arenas. They will insist that tax money should be spent on this luxury in order to stimulate the local economy. ″Economic stimulus″ is often an excuse used by politicians to justify things that they want to do anyway. It′s never about the economy, though. It′s about sports and nothing more. Local leaders want teams to move to and stay in their area. Of all the ways that revenue could be used to improve the economy, be it tax cuts or infrastructure spending, stadium funding is the least effective.

If you are a progressive, you should realize that municipal funds spend on stadium construction and maintenance could be better spent on underfunded schools and infrastructure. Spectator sports are nothing more than entertainment. The entertainment industry is the absolute least essential part of the economy.

If you are a conservative, you should realize that police department budgets can suffer while stadium bonds are being paid off. It might be tempting to get government involved in sports as a distraction to keep the beast away from more important industries. But when you argue with progressives on social programs, it helps if you′ve stayed consistent with your fiscal conservative principles. If you support stadium subsidies, that is what progressives will bring up when you oppose other types of wasteful spending

If you are a socialist, do you watch any sports besides soccer? Anyway, you are probably already against government funding of sports teams that pay their athletes more than what school teachers make. So at least we can be on the same side on this particular issue. You′ll probably plagiarize this article anyway, but let′s keep moving forward here. We can fight about more important things than this at another time.

But if you are a sports fan who eschews political labels, understand that government subsidies are bad for sports. The team that moves to your city′s new stadium this year can be lured away 20 years from now. Teams should remain committed to their hometowns. And yet part of the reason why most states lack a major league team is because the big leagues use their influence to develop a monopoly and kill off competing leagues like the USFL and the XFL. There is so much potential growth in sports, but the NFL, NBA, and MLB would rather have the games stagnate than alter their business model. Public financing of professional sports stadiums needs to end in every city.


Robert is the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Allen County, Indiana. He has worked in the private security industry since before 9/11. His new novel, A Long Way From Tipperary, is now available on Amazon.

  • State rights issue

    • Robert Enders

      Just because a state has the right to do something, doesn’t make it a good idea.

  • This is American. Thankfully our own professional football clubs finance themselves.

    • david bowie

      are you joking? or you’re british?

  • John Thiesfeld

    Great article but…..what can we do about it?

    • Robert Enders

      Take more of an interest in politics on the local level. Find out who you city council man is and how he votes.

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