Tuesday, June 24, 2008


My question is - Why should any government entity ever be spending taxpayer money on stadiums? There are tickets and promotions and things that raise mucho dinero for franchises. Top players scoop up millions in salary. If big-time sports are not financially viable operations, what could be? And if sometimes owners lack as much money as they might like to spend on a stadium, why should a taxpayer who never watches a game have to pay for it?"

- Paul Jacob of the Sam Adams Alliance


Why do government entities spend taxpayer money on sports stadiums? Because it brings in revenue in the form of....can you guess? Taxes!

Sure, the franchise itself is often, if not always tax-exempt, but the revenue is there. Look at the cost of the ticket, concession stand food and drink, parking tickets, souvenirs like t-shirts, hats, foam fingers and the like. Every one of the them has a tax attached to it.

Then there is revenue that comes to local businesses around the stadium or connected to the stadium. restaurants, hotels, airports, transportation and more make money when a stadium is built in the area. Again, taxes are imposed on the sale or use of something such as food, housing, bus, cab and car rentals. Have you ever gone to another city for anything, much less a sporting event and not bought something? Hello taxes

And don't forget, football stadiums don't have *just* football played there. They are also used for rock concerts, Billy Graham crusades, political events, and other events I can't think of right now. And what do they *sell* at these events? Tickets, food and drink, souvenirs, and so forth - the same things they usually sell at sports events, except geared to the current event.

There it is in a nutshell...tax revenue. Invest in the team by giving money or tax-exempt status (or at least a sweetheart of a tax discount) and the city, county, state, and Federal government enjoy of having the sporting venue that you, the taxpayer will pay for buy buying the ticket, the parking ticket, the hot dog, nachos, and beer (or whatever you prefer), the t-shirt or hat, to the event.

Just remember...follow the money trail.. Not even a government entity is going to allow a sports venue to be built unless the bottom line is enhanced.

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