Stadiums Draining City Coffers

Sweetheart deals using public monies to fund stadiums have backfired across the country, causing more drain than gain.

Ken Belson of the New York Times focuses on the example of Cincinnati, where voters approved a sales tax increase to fund building a stadium for the Bengals and the Reds. With sales tax revenue plummeting, the city is left holding the bag for the sports center.

Belson writes, "The teams have not volunteered to rewrite their leases. So in the coming weeks, the county plans to cut basic services, lower its legal bills and drain a bond reserve fund with no plan for paying it back.

'Anyone looking at this objectively knows it's a train wreck,' said Dusty Rhodes, the county auditor. 'I told them they were making a big mistake, but they didn't want to hear me.'

Cincinnati is hardly alone."

Full Story: Stadium Boom Deepens Municipal Woes



Problems re Sports Facilities

It is a problem when policy re sports facilities counters the good of the general public.

In my region, one example of this is the plan to install lights in a new township park, to illuminate the athletic facilities at night. This decision was made by local government officials despite the appointed resident park design committee voting for the park to be a dusk to dawn operation only. Also, a group of neighboring residents- including one who donated land to the park- petitioned to keep lights out of the park.
(It is also worth noting a majority of residents only wanted passive uses like trails in the park, not active uses like baseball fields.)

Another related topic is that of university student fees going to fund sports teams! Apparently, university sports teams can drain their school's budgets also.

Crony Capitalism meet Atavistic Avatar...

As long as pluralities of electorates in sports markets continue to live vicariously and vote under the mass delusion that professional athletes are somehow their personal champions, the steady flow of money from taxpayers into these boondoggles is assured...

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95