Professional Sports Stadiums Should not Be Funded with Public Money Introduction The demand that the public funds the Minnesota baseball stadium for the hometown twins raised a lot of concern among the taxpayers. However, this is not a new phenomenon…
The reasons presented in support of such doings is that building of stadiums leads to increased employment opportunities, increased tax, and revenues hence boosting the local and the regional economies. Additionally, supporters of public funding argue that projects aimed at building stadiums encourage revitalization of cities that could be facing economic challenges. Proponents of public funding for stadiums argue that stadiums bring a sense of pride and add to the city’s prestige, which they claim to be important. As opposed to this believe, professional stadiums construction end up using more resources than the returns obtained. The projects results in unprecedented taxes in addition to usage of both municipal and county resource with little economic benefit in return. This paper argues that professional sports stadiums, which major sports leagues can easily afford to construct, should not be funded with public money as it affects taxpayers, brings them little real benefit, and takes away public money from more important projects. Irrespective of the owners of major leagues in the United States being extremely rich, they keep turning back to the government for funding whenever they want to build a stadium. The four major leagues that have in the past demanded for public funding to build stadium include National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Major League Baseball (MLB).1 The above named leagues are currently using stadiums that either have been constructed or refurbished with public funds. The argument that the public should fund such projects became popular particularly in the 1990’s from when approximately $30 billion of taxpayers’ money has been used in construction and renovation of professional sports stadiums. It is so demeaning when some of the richest persons in the American society require to be funded by the public, which requires that the costs be borne by taxpayers. 2 This is irrespective of the fact that the owners of the leagues end up being the chief beneficiaries after the completion of the projects. Most members of the public end up paying increased taxes. However, they are aware that they will never reap any benefits from the projects.3 A number of arguments are given by proponents of public funding professional stadiums, the main one being that stadiums help increase the value of franchises. On the contrary, the benefits associated with increased value of franchises are too minimal compared to the expenses incurred in both construction and maintenance of the stadiums. Asking the public to fund professional stadiums, which are privately owned, is equivalent to using public money for personal or private gain. This is because the league or team owners pocket the income gained directly from the use of the stadiums. The players might reap benefits form increased league income, but the taxpayer who funds the stadium does not get even a dime from the incomes realized.4 Additionally, the argument that sports stadiums boost the economy of states and cities is unsubstantiated. On the contrary, stadiums do not create any new wealth but they just facilitate redistribution of the revenues gained from entertainment. If there are any economic benefits, they are negligible and profit just a few people while taxes affect almost all people. The costs of putting up a stadium outweigh the benefits. As opposed to what proponents of pub ...
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