The funding of sports stadiums has recently been a very hot topic in the sports media. Most of the modernly built stadiums have been publicly funded, which begins a large debate. What rewards does the community receive when a stadium comes to town? Is a sports stadium a positive or negative investment for the community? This debate hits close to home with the city of Cincinnati recently constructing two new stadiums for the local pro teams.
When addressing this debate I broke the problem into four main aspects: a complete overview of the numbers, the positive effects of having a stadium and or building a stadium, the vice versa with the negative effects of stadiums in the community, and lastly I concentrated on the stadiums here in Cincinnati and more specifically Paul brown stadium who houses everyone's favorite team the Cincinnati Bengals.
In the last fifteen years no professional stadium has been built in the United States without funding from the public. Since 1990 over seventeen billion dollars have been paid out for construction and renovations of stadiums. Nearly eleven billion of the seventeen has been provided by public funding, which equals out to over sixty percent of total funding. When money is spent on renovations to the stadiums it tends to be especially wasteful since it's proven to not really spark anything new. Renovations fail to raise ticket sales, or raise money spent at concessions. Most Renovations are for safety and health code reasons. With safety codes always changing many stadiums must do small renovations to stay operational. Construction of new stadiums however does bring new revenue to the community; I will speak about this more when I address the positive effects later on in the paper. Money which is collected for the stadiums is often forced out of the local government. Team owners will often argue that they can move to another city which will bring in more local funding. The team leaving would then stick the community and local government with an empty stadium and no team in their city, which is a huge problem and loss of money. Also if the city is looking to bring a new team to their city they must do many of the requests of the team owners or the team will look elsewhere. This public money used for funding is collected in several different ways. The most common would be a raise of a sales tax, much like hear in Cincinnati is a great example. The sales tax paid in Cincinnati was raised one-half cent on the dollar to fund the stadiums downtown. Other possible ways of raising public money is through a raise of the tax on tobacco and alcohol; this has been highly effective in cities such as Cleveland. The last main tax collected for funding stadiums would be a tax on hotels, the idea for this is that with the building of the stadiums more people will come to watch the game, and hence more people will need hotel rooms. The numbers used to build stadiums (an average of 250 million) is hard to even fathom. The common student like me has a hard time sometimes getting a grip about how much money is really being spoke of when talking about the construction of the stadiums.
Now that the numbers in question have been addressed I would like take a view of the positive effects which occur during and after the construction of a new stadium. The first positive effects of a new stadium transpire during the construction of the stadium itself. Building a stadium takes about every kind of construction and union worker. Electricians, concrete workers, pipe fitters, steel workers, and even plumbers are all much needed in the completion of a project as big as a stadium. The construction of a stadium takes thousands of workers and millions of man hours. This will brings millions of dollars to the pockets of the workers of the local economy. As shown in history large construction projects much like the Hoover Dam have been great boost to the economy. This also mainly boosts the...
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