We Built This: Keeping Score of America's Stadium Spending Spree

To the tune of at least $4 billion in tax exemptions, America's taxpayers have collectively subsidized the construction of sports venues across the country, for the benefit of sports owners' bottom line. Are we getting our money's worth?

Aaron Kuriloff and Darrell Preston investigate the dozens of wealthy owners whose big-league teams have benefited from millions of dollars in tax-free borrowing that have gone towards the construction of new stadiums. This borrowing occurred despite Congressional efforts in 1986, "to bar cities and states from building stadiums with tax breaks originally set up to help local governments cut their borrowing costs for building roads, sewers and schools."

"During the past decade, studies by Grant Long; Robert Baade of Lake Forest College near Chicago; Victor Matheson, an economist at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts; and others have found that stadiums are poor municipal investments," note Kuriloff and Preston. "Nonetheless, political leaders are still willing to offer taxpayer-funded aid to team owners -- including muni-bond financing -- to lure or avoid losing a franchise and the civic pride and event-related jobs that go with it."

Full Story: In Stadium Building Spree, U.S. Taxpayers Lose $4 Billion

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Currently on backorder
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95