In the old days, NFL owners were rich men who accepted the risk of losing money as the cost of doing business. Thanks to the popularity of the game, the NFL and its owners—with the collusion of politicians—have created what amounts to a risk-free business environment. According to Long’s data, a dozen teams received more public money than they needed to build their facilities. Rather than going into debt, they turned a profit.
The perfect example: Seven of every ten dollars spent to build CenturyLink Field in Seattle came from the taxpayers of Washington State, $390 million total. The owner, Paul Allen, pays the state $1 million per year in “rent” and collects most of the $200 million generated. If you are wondering how to become, like Allen, one of the richest humans on earth, negotiating such a lease would be a good start.
In New Orleans, taxpayers have bankrolled roughly a billion dollars to build then renovate the Superdome, which we are now supposed to call the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Guess who gets nearly all the revenues generated by Saints games played in this building? If you guessed all those hard-working stiffs who paid a billion dollars, you would be wrong. If you guessed billionaire owner Tom Benson, you would be right. He also receives $6 million per annum from the state as an “inducement payment” to keep him from moving the team.
That’s the same amount Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would pay each year in property taxes to Arlington, Texas, where his fancy new stadium is located. Except that Jones doesn’t pay property taxes because, like many of his fellow plutocrats, he’s cut a sweetheart deal with the local authorities."
Public funding of stadiums and arenas makes me so goddamn angry.
The Ramp and the Dome, man.
Or even better, an MLB example: the Cards.
We paid for it. Why can’t we get into it for free?
Money over people.