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The Negative Effects of Taxpayer Funding of Pro Athletics Facility

The utilization of taxpayer funds for the establishment of professional sports or athletics facilities has long been argued. There has been a significant and mounting opposition to this practice basically because of the hidden agenda surrounding it. This includes the tendency to use the public funds coming from the taxpayers’ money not for the benefit of the majority and the nation’s economy in general, but for the sole intention of satisfying the private earnings of the few.

There is a recent opposition to the big cost of constructing national and local professional sports installations to public investment. In an effort to either have a strong appeal or maintain a professional sports or athletics teams, the national and local government are compelled to use public fund provided by taxpayers. Of course, empowering the professional athletics is positive in nature. However, this practice turns into more of a liability when the means to address this goal such as utilizing the taxpayers’ money are misappropriated and other services are sacrificed.

As a result, this negatively impacts the welfare of the public. Daniel Sutter’s article “Public Subsidies for Sports Stadiums Don’t Spur Economic Growth” presents the negative effect of this practice on the nation’s economy (Sutter, 2000). In the said article, Sutter (2000) disputed that the building of new sports or athletics stadiums actually deviates consumer disbursement from other kinds of entertainment without raising its overall level. This, in effect, redirects entertainment spending from one place to another.

Sutter (2000) added that those who support construction of athletics facilities such as stadium and use public investment or taxpayers’ money overestimate the profits from such project by neglecting the negative effects of this diversion of consumer spending. In presenting specifics of the issue, Sutter (2000) further reasoned that the “Arizona’s Bank One Ballpark created 340 jobs at a cost of $240 million in subsidies. ” He observed that because this kind of sports facility has its own amenities such as “parking, souvenir shops, and restaurant facilities,” it negatively affects other businesses and the entire community (Sutter, 2000).

According to the article “Policy Debate: Does Public Investment in Municipal Sports Stadiums Pay Off,” opponents of the practice of using grant coming from public funds such as taxpayers’ money for construction of athletics facilities further argued that the nation’s economy in general does not profit from such structures (South-Western College, 2002). Although the construction helps the economy of the place where the new sports facility was built, the public investment such as the taxpayers’ money exhausted on this kind of entertainment could have been utilized on some other community services.

Practically, the lost franchise acquired by the previous place turns out to be the economic gain of the other area where the new sports facility was built (South-Western College, 2002). The said article on policy debate also revealed the negative political effect of this practice. Political judgments pertaining on the use of taxpayers’ fund for athletics facilities tend to indicate and promote only those of the few or the “special-interest groups.

” In doing so, the benefit of the majority and involvement of the whole area is sacrificed or disregarded. This practice leads to a problem wherein the expenditures are shared by a lot of taxpayers that no specific taxpayer is motivated to dispute the construction of the sports facility. This is despite that the overall amount of the construction exceeds the benefits or advantages that the area has to get. Moreover, because of the practice, the athletics sports are not the only one being affected.

Construction of facilities intended for other sports also face a similar situation (South-Western College, 2002). The practice of funding the construction of sports or athletics facilities coming from taxpayers’ money creates a significantly escalating problem that has to be addressed. While the purpose of providing sports facility is laudable, it should not be done at the expense of the public fund. Issues resulting from the establishments of new sports stadiums and arenas consuming and depleting the public or taxpayers’ fund should not be ignored.

Private interests and gain moonlighting under public purposes and welfare should be opposed. This is because only the few millionaires actually benefit from such practice while a lot of taxpayers and sports fans have more losses than gains every time they pay higher taxes and shell out a lot of money for ticket prices. Therefore, it is better to let private funds shoulder the expenses for the construction of sports facilities of the professional athletes and use the taxpayer’s money for funding public services.


South-Western College. (2002). Policy debate: does public investment in municipal sports stadiums pay off? Economic Resource Center. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http://www. swcollege. com/bef/policy_debates/stadiums. html Sutter, D. (2000, April 4). Public subsidies for sports stadiums don’t spur economic growth. Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http://www. ocpathink. org/research-ideas/taxes-and-spending/? module=news&id=141

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