On Tuesday, Senators James Lankford and Cory Booker introduced a bill named “Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act” after calling foul on government subsidies for professional sports stadiums. Lankford said:

 

“The federal government is responsible for a lot of important functions, but financing sports stadiums for multi-million—sometimes billion—dollar franchises is definitely not one of them. Using billions of federal taxpayer dollars for the subsidization of private stadiums when we have real infrastructure needs in our country is not a good way to prioritize a limited amount of funds.”

His office issued a press release saying:

“The bill would close a loophole in the tax code that allows professional sports teams to finance new stadiums with municipal bonds that are exempt from federal taxes.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission say that municipal bonds are “debt securities issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to fund day-to-day obligations and to finance capital projects such as building schools, highways or sewer systems.”

Michael Sargent from The Heritage Foundation expressed his opinion that focuses on transportation and infrastructure policy:

“The bottom line is that eliminating this cronyist tax preference is good policy. The claims that stadium subsidies spur economic growth and create jobs have been debunked time and time again. Instead, they’re a handout to wealthy, connected companies at the expense of the American taxpayer.”

Alexander K. Gold, Austin J. Drukker, and Ted Gayer from the Brookings Institution revealed this in 2016:

 

“The federal government has subsidized newly constructed or majorly renovated professional sports stadiums to the tune of $3.2 billion federal taxpayer dollars since 2000. But because high-income bond holders receive a windfall gain for holding municipal bonds, the resulting loss in total revenue to the federal government is even larger at $3.7 billion.”

Charles Hughes from the Manhattan Institute in Economics said:

“This was most recently seen with the Raiders leaving Oakland for the Las Vegas desert. All told, the Raiders were able to secure nearly $1 billion in subsidies to entice them to move.”

A contributor to Forbes.com by the name Jeffrey Dorman said in January of 2015 that stadiums don’t create economic opportunity for community members or even much extra tax revenue for local governments:

“In fact, local and state governments get new tax revenue from stadium-related events in only two ways: steering purchases toward activities with higher tax rates and taxing out-of-town visitors. […] Why should taxpayers pay so that a few favored businesses can see greater profits?”

 

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