Pro Sports Teams Are Robbing BILLIONS from Taxpayers — It’s Expensive to Keep You Distracted
By Annabelle Bamforth
April 5, 2017
“Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult….”
― George Orwell, 1984
It’s no secret that the federal government has little restraint about using taxpayer dollars for non-essential initiatives and projects. One venture, in particular, continuously shouldered by taxpayers is the building, maintaining, and renovating of sports stadiums. These stadiums are often built with the help of federal subsidies as well as funding through state and local taxes. This issue is not new, as study of subsidized stadiums by the Department of Economics at the College of the Holy Cross noted that “construction costs alone for major league professional sports facilities have totaled in excess of $30 billion in nominal terms over the past two decades with over half of the cost being paid by the public.”
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with watching sports. However, it has become far more than just a game in this country. It is used to promote militarism, divide, and serve as bread and circus while the empire spreads across the globe. As the study mentions above, all of this comes with a hefty price tag too. Americans are quite literally financing their own distraction.
The problem shows no signs of slowing down either. The taxpayers of Clark County, Nevada will soon be on the hook for $750 million going toward a $1.9 billion stadium to be built for the Oakland Raiders; this is in addition to the $83 million still owed by the city of Oakland and Alameda County for renovating the Coliseum stadium back in 1995. This new stadium “will benefit from the biggest public subsidy in the NFL since the Indianapolis Colts received $619 million from taxpayers in 2008,” according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The issue is rampant among America’s most popular sports, according to a report presented by The Brookings Institution last fall providing extensive insight into the staggering costs of federally subsidizing sports teams. Football and baseball received the most in subsidies, followed by basketball and hockey. Since 2000, the MLB received $1.41 billion; the NFL received $1.1 billion; the NBA received $444 million; and the NHL received $236 million. The report states that “the federal government has subsidized newly constructed or majorly renovated professional sports stadiums to the tune of $3.2 billion federal taxpayer dollars since 2000” resulting in $3.7 billion in lost revenue.