The Myth of Jobs and Stadiums

As Super Bowl Shows, Build Stadiums for Love and Not Money Excerpt:
Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play eight regular season games per year, has every amenity: a retractable roof, state-of-the-art turf, seven locker rooms, 137 luxury suites, 1,000 flat-screen televisions.

And well it should: It cost $720 million to build. Of this, the Colts paid only $100 million. To cover the rest, local officials raised taxes on hotels, restaurants and rental cars, and issued bonds that soon led to ballooning financing costs.

As Bloomberg News reported Feb. 2, the cost overruns resulted partly from the city’s reliance on auction-rate securities, which became extremely expensive as the market for such bonds collapsed in 2008. Interest rates on some of the stadium bonds reached 15 percent at one point, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

All told, this led to about $43 million in unexpected financing costs. As projected deficits grew larger, the county board that operates the stadium had to reduce arts and cultural grants, and the city increased taxes on hotels even further.

... And the debts linger: From the Kingdome in Seattle to the Astrodome in Houston to the old Giants Stadium in New Jersey, today’s taxpayers are on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in debt for stadiums that are no longer in use or no longer even exist. The RCA Dome -- which Lucas Oil Stadium replaced, and which was imploded in 2008 -- won’t be paid off until 2021.
Comment: Read the full article. I oppose public financing of stadiums. If a team threatens to walk ... let 'em!

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