The NFL American football league has openly criticised a proposed bill that could force its teams to pay more money to fund stadium construction.
Introduced last week by the Republicans in the House of Representatives, the bill is seeking to push through a ban on tax-exempt, public-purpose bonds for stadia in professional sports. These types of bonds are typically used to fund projects such as schools, libraries and public transit developments.
The NFL has said that building new stadia boosts economic development in cities that are home to the venues and federal tax breaks should be made available to allow such projects to go ahead.
Speaking in a conference call this week, NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart said: “You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadia.
“These sorts of infrastructure projects have a long history and the benefits of them are obvious in many of our communities around the country, so we will continue to make our opposition known on that.”
Should the bill go through, one NFL team that could be impacted is the Oakland Raiders, which has started work on the early phases of its new stadium in Las Vegas, ahead of the franchise’s move to the city.
Earlier this week, Jeremy Aguero, an analyst at the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, which will own and oversee the stadium once complete, admitted that he was unsure as to how much of an impact the bill could have on the project, but did confirm that none of the tax-exempt bonds planned for the stadium have been issued.
NFL spokesperson Lockhart has now made similar comments, refusing to say what, if any, impact the bill could have on the viability of the stadium.
“That is a hypothetical at this point and we’d have to see how the final bill comes out,” he added, according to the Reuters news agency. “What gets proposed out of the writing committee from the party in control very often is not what is eventually signed into law, so we’ll have to see where that goes.”