In cities across the country, citizens are being asked to help finance plush new sports stadiums, even in places like bankrupt Detroit. These proposed stadiums provoke strong reactions, in part because they benefit wealthy big-league team owners — and their highly compensated players.
Owners of teams in the “big four” sports leagues—the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL—have received nearly $20 billion in taxpayer subsidies for new homes since 1990, according to Neil deMause, author of Field of Schemes. Even though a number of studies have concluded that stadiums are poor municipal investments, local politicians often support their construction because they foster civic pride and create local jobs.
Once stadiums are constructed, the controversy continues. Some love the chance to cheer on their local team while others are frustrated by the high price of tickets and the traffic, noise and disturbances that come with a stadium.
In this Group Think we ask how new professional sports arenas are affecting Americans in cities large and small. We have compiled a few voices here, but would love to hear your thoughts on a new or proposed stadium where you live. Use the comments section below to tell us all about it.