Hypocrisy Watch -- Sports Stadium Edition

In the past, local governments and the legislature have blithely hit up taxpayers to pay for new sports stadiums for local teams.  You may think you have it bad in your city with 4 major sports teams, but we have 4 major sports teams PLUS about seven or eight baseball spring training stadiums.

It seems like the legislature and local government finally got tired of putting all taxpayers on the hook for these stadiums, and had the radical idea that maybe actual, you know, fans who want to use the stadiums should pay for them.  This turned out to be too expensive for ticket prices at the proposed new Cubs spring training facility -- fans aren't used to paying for the full price of their sporting event in their ticket price -- they are used to getting subsidized by non-sports fans.  As a compromise, the legislature proposed a tax on tickets for all spring training games at all stadiums to pay for this one new field.  This seems stupid to me, but it elicited this hilarious response from the baseball commissioner:

Selig told reporters at HoHoKam Park that it was a "dangerous precedent" to tax all ticket buyers primarily to benefit one team and that Major League Baseball has taken over negotiations for a new Cubs spring home.

Right, but it is A-OK if all taxpayers, including those who will never see a baseball game, are taxed to pay for the new stadium.


  1. ADiff:

    Sports subsidies are perhaps the most egregious socialist subsidies in State and Local government. Like other observers I am struck by a state that cannot manage $16 million to provide health coverage for children not otherwise covered, that at the same time can build $80 million stadiums to try to retain one particular MLB team's spring training.

    Like Mr. Meyer said regarding another issue: "Freaking Amazing"!

  2. me:

    Thanks for bringing this up - it's a fave pet peeve of mine.

  3. Not Sure:

    "You may think you have it bad in your city with 4 major sports teams..."

    LA and the people who live there are the brunt of a lot of jokes, but one thing you've got to give them is that they refuse to pay for an NFL stadium.

  4. morganovich:

    this is exactly how the arguments for muni (the bus system) always go in san francisco.

    muni is perpetually in the red due to gross mismanagement and outlandish pay contracts.

    it's always the muni riders arguing that increasing the price to ride is terribly unfair and penalizes the poor, so the correct answer is to increase parking taxes, parking meter rates, and to issue bonds to be paid out of general revenue.

    in an amazing twist, the same agency that runs muni also runs the parking meters. this has resulted in significant areas in SF where you literally get 3 minutes per quarter from a meter and the meters run from 7am to 9pm 365 days a year.

    amazing how much riders are willing to have OTHER people pay and yet how much they squawk is a 25 cent per ride price increase is discussed.