The Sports Stadium Funding Mess


The recent NFL players’ misinformed protest, sitting for the National Anthem, has brought new focus to the out of control, tax free municipal bond government welfare for the rich giveaway that has been used in Goodyear and other localities to reward local campaign contributors at the expense of taxpayers.

Besides being a disaster for local government budgets, providing tax free municipal bonds to fund sports stadiums (like the more that $100 million that Goodyear has for it’s 30 day Cactus League season) are simply government welfare for billionaire owners, millionaire players, and the fat cat, high tax bracket individuals who buy the bonds and avoid paying ANY income tax on their earnings. (Aka, “campaign contributors”)

Is it any wonder that local politicians love these loser projects?

You don’t have to believe me. Even the left leaning Brookings Institution agrees with me.

“… there is little evidence that stadiums provide even local economic benefits. Decades of academic studies consistently find no discernible positive relationship between sports facilities and local economic development, income growth, or job creation. And local benefits aside, there is clearly no economic justification for federal subsidies for sports stadiums. Residents of, say, Wyoming, Maine, or Alaska have nothing to gain from the Washington-area football team’s decision to locate in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia.”

And here is Brookings’ entire report.

Brookings Inst report.

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