Public financing of sports stadiums is corporate welfare. Period. Billionaire owners benefit from our taxpayer dollars and fans rarely get a good deal.
Most of the time, hundreds of millions of state and local tax dollars are handed to owners, no strings attached.
What about federal funds, though? Is it possible that, say, a rancher in Montana (let's call him Montana Moe) pays for a billionaire’s new stadium in Las Vegas or Los Angeles? Yes. And it has to stop.
Due to a loophole in the tax code, these projects receive a tax exemption — effectively giving owners an extra $3.2 billion subsidy from whatever other subsidies they’ve received from their state or local municipalities. That's our tax dollars — whatever tax breaks the owners get, the rest of us are left holding the bag.
Montana Moe, whose nearest major league sports team is two states away, is paying for large vanity projects for a few over-entitled owners. Even with his money in their pockets, if Montana Moe wanted to travel to for a game, they’ll still price him out with outrageous ticket prices and price-gouge him on concessions.
Sports Fans Coalition has made it clear before: public financing for sports stadiums doesn’t HAVE to be a raw deal for fans (the success of our Danifesto is proof of that). However, we can’t think of a single way that federal funds subsidizing sports stadiums helps fans.
Thanks to our efforts and the efforts of many other consumer groups, economists, journalists, and politicians, the wider public is blowing the whistle on this bad deal. Professional leagues and team owners have shaken down the taxpayer for far too long. The public investment in stadiums has little economic value and is entirely unfair to sports fans and non-sports fans alike.
Recently, two U.S. senators, a Republican and a Democrat, introduced a bill that would end this abuse, and a bipartisan group of House Members did the same: Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act (S. 1342) and No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act (HR. 811). Both of these bills have bipartisan support which proves, once again, sports are the great unifier.
Now, is the time to act, write your legislator and ask them to cosponsor the bill!
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