The first quote below says it all. Public subsidies for sports teams are bad investments.
Is there any other industry or field of business where taxpayers are asked to hand over astronomical sums to billionaire owners and their millionaire employees?
Public economic development dollars can be put to much better use on things besides subsidizing sports teams and their wealthy owners.
In the past 15 years alone, over $12 billion of the public’s money has gone to privately owned stadiums—constituting essentially a massive transfer of wealth from everyday Americans to the super-rich owners and players involved in these billion-dollar sports franchises.
Although Minneapolis initially required a public referendum to approve funding for the stadium, a “stadium authority” was able to override the referendum and authorize the budget without taxpayers’ consent.
taxpayers have actually spent as much as $10 billion more on professional sports stadiums and arenas than is typically acknowledged after various hidden costs are taken into account.
“Cities have very little bargaining power with an NFL team. As long as there are cities without NFL teams that are willing to subsidize a stadium, cities will have to pay part of the cost of a new stadium.”
Supporting billionaire owners may look bad, but sitting idly while the local team moves to another city can also mean getting tossed out of office.
The stark reality is that cities and their leadership are mainly complicit in stadium boondoggles. Even when residents vote down these deals, they often frequently reappear under the guise of stadium development authorities and other non-democratic ways to obtain public funding. A comprehensive 2006 study of the local growth coalitions of business and politicians that foist stadium deals on taxpayers found that public officials are frequently active participants in stadium shakedowns—far from the neutral brokers they like to claim. The study concludes that “the default position of local governments (with only rare exceptions) is to believe in the wonders of publicly subsidized sports stadiums.”
The overwhelming conclusion of decades of economic research on the subject is that using public funds to subsidize wealthy sports franchises makes zero economic sense and is a giant waste of taxpayer money. A wide array of studies have shown that professional teams add virtually no income to local economies.