Still a prof. sports fan?
Call yourself a professional sports fan?
Here’s some food for thought that might make you re-think your so-called “allegiance” to whatever “pro sports team” (euphemism for “massively lucrative business with amazing and deep-rooted psychological hooks in their customers…”)
Jets, Giants, Mets, Yankees, Eagles, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils, whomever – costs every individual (even if they don’t watch sports). Maybe one day all teams will go away if people just stop feeding them.
Bread & Circuses: The Shady, Slimy & Corrupt World Of Taxpayer Funded Sports Stadiums
Submitted by Mike Krieger
Like pretty much everything in the modern U.S. economy, wealthy and connected people fleecing taxpayers in order to earn even greater piles of money is also the business model when it comes to sports stadiums. Many cities have tried to make voter approval mandatory before these building boondoggles get started, but in almost all cases these efforts are thwarted by a powerful coalition of businessmen and corrupt politicians. Sound familiar? Yep, it a microcosm for pretty much everything else in America these days.
To get you up to speed, here are a few points from an excellent Pacific Standard magazine article:
- Over the past 15 years, more than $12 billion in public money has been spent on privately owned stadiums. Between 1991 and 2010, 101 new stadiums were opened across the country; nearly all those projects were funded by taxpayers.
- Last month, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill to spend $250 million on a new basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. (The true cost of the project, including interest payments, will be more than $400 million.)
Isn’t Scott Walker supposed to be “Mr. Fiscal Conservative?”
“The story of what’s happening in Milwaukee is remarkable, if not already familiar. Step one: A down-on-its-luck team is purchased by a group of billionaire investors. Step two: The owners nod to their “moral responsibility” to keep the team in its hometown,while simultaneously lobbying for a new stadium. Step three: The team threatens to abandon its hometown for greener pastures—and newer facilities—in another city. Step four: The threat scares up hundreds of millions of public dollars in stadium financing. Step five: The new stadium opens, boosting the owners’ investment, while sloughing much of the financial risk onto taxpayers. As New York Times columnist Michael Powell wrote, “From start to desultory end, Milwaukee offered a case study in all that is wrong with our arena-shakedown age.”
Sharing revenues with the taxpayers funding the stadium: Illegal.
Blatantly corrupt private-public partnership cartels: Perfectly legal.Two words: Banana Republic.
In case you forgot the ultimate casino-gulag partnership of them all…
Now here’s the always brilliant John Oliver on the issue. Enjoy: