Public subsidies to prfessional team sport facilities in the USA
Cities do not use public money to build skyscrapers and then hand them over gratis to IBM or Telecom, even though such businesses are likely to have a positive economic impact on a community. However, in the US they do use public money to build stadia for professional football and baseball teams, and arenas for professional hockey and baseball teams, and then give them to the millionaire owners of those teams. This largesse is particularly remarkable given the conditions of financial crises and infrastructure deterioration that prevail in major cities. A letter writer to the Baltimore Sun captured the apparent absurdity of this state of affairs:
The city is full of ruined houses, the jails are overcrowded, the dome is falling off City Hall, there are potholes in the streets, crippled children can’t get to school, taxes are up and services are going down – but we’re going to have a sports complex.