Your tax dollars are being wasted, on an enormous scale, by uncompetitive socialist enterprises that ignore the basic rules of economics.
I refer, of course, to the practice of politicians who give taxpayer dollars to subsidize the business of sports by paying for the construction and/or renovation of stadiums and arenas. These exercises in crony capitalism make no sense whatsoever. There has never been a decent reason to subsidize these successful businesses, which rarely produce a real return on the public’s investment. Nor is civic pride a justification.
The bottom line here is very simple: The cost of building and maintaining these facilities should be borne by the people who attend these events via their ticket purchases, and not the people of an entire state and/or metropolitan region, the vast majority of whom will never set foot inside these enormously costly structures.
This was brought into focus once again by a recent New York Times column looked at the five sports stadiums and six sports arenas within 60 miles of midtown Manhattan, with a combined 335,271 seats. Of the total cost of $7.5 billion, taxpayers provided more than a third, or about $2.75 billion. That’s about $8,200 per seat.
Sadly, our leaders never learn, and there are many proposals for more stadiums to be built or renovated with taxpayer backing.
For a nation allegedly concerned with mounting deficits and debt this is a colossal waste of resources. Here are four reasons why:
1. Competition: Sports and live music are incredibly successful and profitable businesses overall. These venues should be able to compete on their own for consumer dollars. If a venue can’t generate the needed revenue, that tells you that it is either poorly managed or not needed by the marketplace. In either case, the local tax base should not subsidize it.