Industry News

US bill put forward to prohibit taxpayer money being used for stadium construction

Two US politicians are set to sponsor a bill that will prevent taxpayer money being spent on the construction of sports stadiums.

The bill, scheduled to be introduced in the US Senate on Tuesday, would ban the practice of teams using federal tax funds to help finance construction.

Senators Cory Booker and James Lankford are the two politicians that will sponsor the bill.

According to ESPN, a report in September by the Brookings Institution revealed that $3.2bn (£2.5bn/€2.8bn) in federal taxpayer money, through municipal bonds, has been used to fund 36 newly built or renovated sports stadiums since 2000. 

“Professional sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenue,” Booker said in a statement, according to ESPN. “There’s no reason why we should give these multimillion-dollar businesses a federal tax break to build new stadiums.

“It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, especially when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits.”

The report shows that the largest federal subsidies came mainly from Major League Baseball and NFL American football teams’ new stadiums. From the MLB, the New York Yankees (pictured) and the New York Mets spent $431m and $185m, respectively.

The three teams from the NFL that spent the most federal tax money to build new or renovate their stadiums are the Chicago Bears that used $205m, the Cincinnati Bengals spent $164m, while the Indianapolis Colts spent $163m.

“Everyone likes free federal money to build their expensive stadiums, but with $20 trillion in federal debt, this is waste that needs to be eliminated,” Lankford said in a statement.