Economic Opportunity

Sherman’s Right: The NFL Should Pay for Stadiums

July 1, 2016

Earlier this month NFL cornerback Richard Sherman publicly condemned taxpayer-funded stadiums. More recently, Brent Gardner, in USA Today, noted the Seattle Seahawk player’s comments and gave some insight into available data on NFL stadium subsidies:

“According to consulting firm Conventions, Sports, and Leisure, the 20 new NFL stadiums built between 1997 and 2015 received $4.76 billion in taxpayer funding. The average handout was $238.1 million, covering an average 56 percent of each stadium’s total cost. ”

And, as Gardner points out, the economic costs of funding these stadiums far outweigh the benefits for citizens. Yet, public funding continues city-by-city thanks to small groups of politically-influential individuals continuing to seek handouts.

In conclusion, Gardner states, “Whether it’s in California, Missouri, Florida, New York, or a number of other states, poll after poll shows that large majorities of voters oppose subsidizing stadiums—even for their beloved local teams.”

Indeed, Richard Sherman has it right.