Sports Stadiums & Public Subsidies Sports teams are an important aspect of a city or state. They can connect pee pole through civic pride, loyalty and shared location. Sports are also a multimillion dollar mind gusty that, in theory, could produce revenue and benefits within the community, making it a more prosperous and enjoyable place to live. Stadiums and arenas are arguably the largest and most effective way of bringing sports and said benefits into their surrounding areas. Over the pa SST 20 years, 101 new sports facilities have opened in the united States, almost all have received dir etc public funding.
Chester, Pennsylvania has been part of a program for economically distressed communities since 1995. And in 201 0, PL Park, a $117 million soccer stadium, was opened in Chi ester, overlooking the Delaware River. 97 percent of its funding came from the city people. This is just one, overstraining scenario of many that make up the ongoing, highly abated stadium subsidy issue. These cities are tantalizing with the promises Of new jobs, spark De economic development in their surrounding areas as well as pride in the city they live in.
The aim of this paper is to identify the source of this ongoing trend and determine whether o not the subsidies have been a worthwhile decision for their surrounding communities. Taxpayers are lured into providing funding for million and even billion dollar construction costs with the promise that they will see dividends in return, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Multiple economic studies have looked into the impact o f stadium projects and in general they find that the actual benefits do not always live up to those promised.
To begin with, most of the jobs created by standardizing projects are either et amphora, lovemaking, or outfaces contracting jobs. While the construction itself may pr duce local jobs they are only temporary thus do not have a lasting contribution to the local sec anomy. Materials are often sourced not from local suppliers but from lowest bid competitors of ten located out of state. In fact one of the stadiums constructed in Brazil for the world cup had e equipment and supplies shipped up the Amazon river at a huge expense as opposed to using local suppliers or moving the site.
Due to the shear size of the modern stadium projects they re quire specialized design and construction firms that have experience with projects of this magna etude, this creates ore revenue flowing out of the system. These are not the only promised be unfits of a new stadium though, teams promise that the projects will pay out dividends in the form increased spending in and around the stadium. Studies also have shown that most fans don’t spend more money as a result of a new stadium. Instead they just redirect funds that they would have otherwise spent on movies, restaurants, hotels or other locally owned business sees.
As a result the stadium is not actually creating a new revenue stream but actually diverting c runner funds, often into the pockets of franchise owners and the NFG itself. Not to mention the UN deridingly costs being shelled out, such as public subsidies for land and infrastructure, cost of upkeep and ongoing operations, improvements to the stadium over time, municipal service sees (traffic cops, security etc. ). Often these costs would be recouped somewhat through proper arty taxes except that they won’t be seen from the stadiums themselves because almost every major release franchise in the U.
S. Does not pay property taxes, thanks to a legal loophole that even the present administration has had difficulty closing. Currently in California there is a shop el ready site that loud not require a public subsidy to begin construction, and would be private Ely financed. The two NFG teams involved in the project said they would only commit to the prop etc though if they failed to receive public subsidies for new stadiums in their home market (CCITT ion). Teams would rather have the public put up the money even when other options are available el.
Even when considering the revenue collected within the stadium and it’s events, the moon eye is mostly flowing into the hands of small group of franchise owners, leagues and athlete sees. This makes you wonder if the stadium is more of an economic drain than anything. All of this together keeps most Of these cities in continuous payout and debt. Which is quite the opposite e of what was originally promised. So, if economists have made it so obvious that building the sees stadiums is a poor decision, then why do the plans for them continue to get approved. The owner of the team wants a new stadium to make more money and make the team more valuable.
So, like a child throws a tantrum, the owner threatens to move elsewhere. The local elected politicians, looking out for their own reputation, eventually give in to the owners fit. Why do sports facilities have such a hold on politicians? Beck cause fear. The team owners can choose new cities but cities can’t choose new teams. Mayor s and officials feel they must offer team owners anything they want to keep them. Politicians vie w losing a team on their watch, career suicide. But actually losing a team is pretty rare. Most tea m owners would rather continue pushing for new stadiums in their hometowns even after thee r bluff has been called.
Florida Marlins president, David Samson, threatened for 4 years to MO eve the team if a new stadium bill wasn’t presented by the next week, until the city of Miami fin all y allowed $478 million for a new stadium with a retractable roof. The owner of team and the few others (contractors, developers and leagues) who bank on gaining millions off of the development will pay for campaigning to get their p reject approved. Thus, politicians give millions of dollars of the taxpayer’s dollars to the owner and reason it as being for the “public good”. If not for economical good, for increased pride in t heir city.
The only way this claim could be considered true would be if the stadiums were o only being built in cities where there is a major league team that truly contributes to civic pride a ND brings national attention. But that is not the case. In Jacksonville (The Jaguars), around 75 per cent of the citizens said ‘yes, this makes us a major league city, it makes us proud to live here,’ buy t less than half the people were willing to pay higher taxes to keep the Jaguars in town if it came down to it. Keeping the team was estimated to cost between $20 to 30 million.
However, Jacksonville subsidized Overbear Field at around $260 million in 2010. There is a small area lit to publicly subsidized stadiums being able to bring the value of a sports team to a city buy t it seems that the same value could be brought by putting that money elsewhere in the comma itty where it is actually needed. Taxpayers are only threatened with a measly $20/ year out of their personal pockets for these stadium subsidies and would rather focus on voting in a can date or passing a bill that addresses issues like abortion or really any other issue they deem MO re important.
The voters aren’t seeing first hand that the already wealthy, team owners are using g their money to build personal playgrounds or that the stadium will be a detriment to their sec anomy in the long run because their focus is somewhere else. So what’s another $20 to them? T his is the attitude that developers count on. There are a few circumstances in which professional sports facilities haven’t b en a total failure. Colgate undergrad, Peter Koehler, looked at 55 ML and NFG stadiums and of undo that 8 of them “succeeded in spurring economic development in their surrounding are a”.
He noticed that the successful developments were usually in downtown areas with easy access s to public transportation, were built in cities that were smaller, wealthier and had lower crime rates. Unfortunately, most Of the chosen areas for stadium developments do not m et that criteria. Arena supporters answer this with a claim that the stadium presence could “r vitality” those areas. But that problem with that idea is that when you’re taking money away from an already scarce economy, there isn’t much else to go around and revivalist.
It certainly isn’t the people in poor neighborhoods that will benefit from a new arena and the expensive re’s truants, boutiques and high end hotels surrounding it. So it seems that, most times, you will have e a new, shines stadium with the same if not slightly more depleted community surrounding i t and not enough fans coming around to help boost revenue. Each city could spend those hundreds of millions on alternatives, such as such lolls, to improve the economy. They could use some of the money to spark economic development in their communities without an arena at all, which could be considered a more efficient use of money.
The real problem comes when children become undereducated and police forces and fire stations are understaffed because of budget cuts while stadiums are built wit h those same dollars. The problem becomes an epidemic when billions Of dollars are being spent b y American taxpayers subsidizing proportionately stadiums even after the city is threaten De by budget cuts or higher taxes. The problem becomes hopeless when voters lose the option t o say “no”. For example, when Pittsburgh decided to build new stadiums for the Steelers and Pirates, voters came together and voted the referendum down but the stadiums were develop pooped anyway.
Which is not an uncommon occurrence in these situations. The only answer is for local elected officials to keep their own people and co immunities in mind and start standing up to all of the demands for sports subsidies. Fur hormone, cities need to band together and agree to simply not compete with one another for a pro fissionable sports presence. If they do that, then pro sports leagues that use the threat of relocate ting their teams, will have no place to go. It is understood that no two cities are the same.