Friday, December 28, 2012

The Legalized Bribery That Is Sport Subsidization

A great article on the "system-gaming moocher class, an entitled, irresponsible, parasitic piglet subset, lazily suckling from the public teat, pulled up by shiny new bootstraps purchased with government giveaways, forever hiding in plain sight," otherwise known as sport subsidies.

As Patrick Hruby writes, "According to Harvard professor Judith Grant Long and economist Andrew Zimbalist, the average public contribution to the total capital and operating cost per sports stadium from 2000 to 2006 was between $249 and $280 million. A fantastic interactive map at Deadspin estimates that the total cost to the public of the 78 pro stadiums built or renovated between 1991 and 2004 was nearly $16 billion."

How does all this (continue to) happen? Especially considering our supposedly pinched budgets and ever-burgeoning fiscal constraints, why do we continue to subsidize sport millionaires? Hruby explains, "Team owners ask for public handouts and threaten to move elsewhere unless they get them, pitting cities against in each other in corporate welfare bidding wars -- wars rooted in the various publicly granted antitrust exemptions that effectively allow sports leagues to control and maintain a limited supply of teams to be leveraged against widespread demand."

Sound familiar? These are the same tactics (build us a stadium or we're leaving town) which were applied to Miller Park for the Brewers and which are being used to strong-arm the public into supporting a new Bradley Center for the Bucks. 

Go read the entire article - Cut Welfare To Sports - to find out more about the land giveaways, infrastructure freebies, tax breaks, and other government handouts the public provides to sport millionaires.

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