John Oliver is the hero this country deserves and in his latest video from Last Week Tonight, he tackles the issue of tax payers funding private sports stadiums.
While the sports played in these stadiums brings in consumers who spend money, the vast majority of stadiums funded are used with tax payer dollars. In fact, $12 billion has been spent on new facilities for professional teams that were opened between 2000 and 2010. Cities like Detroit are declaring bankruptcy one week and approving to fund a half a billion dollars to the Red Wings for a new arena the very next week. All the while, these teams usually keep all of the revenue generated.
Another mind boggling stat is over the past 20-years, stadiums have been replaced at a rate of more than 90-percent. Some teams may pay for a new stadium, but they’re often gifted the land to build such stadiums from the city government, costing tax payers millions in potential revenue that could be going to other areas of need such as public schools.
Despite the public funding these stadiums and missing out on the additional revenue generated, most often a team will threaten to move if the wishes for a new stadium aren’t granted.
/looks at the Miami Marlins
It’s essential that sports teams have a suitable stadium to play in that fans can enjoy, but if fans are footing most of the bill, not seeing any of the additional revenue and the team threatens to leave if additional wishes aren’t granted, that just sounds like a mob shakedown to me.