gather around their televisions surrounded by loved ones,
to watch the Big Game. And the pinnacle event of the most profitable sports league in the world is more often than not played in a
new state-of-the-art stadium with super-sized digital displays retractable roofs luxurious box seats and suites. Teams generally earn the lion’s share of the revenue from the stadium. But for 28 of the 32 teams it’s the taxpayers in the team’s host city
who paid to build it. If the privately owned teams earn the stadium’s revenue why are they built with public money? A new NFL stadium is being built nearly every year and their price tags are reaching into the billions. This chart shows all the different home fields NFL teams have played in since 1960. Stadiums built in the ’70s and ’80s have lasted, on average, over 30 years. But now a stadium’s lifespan
may be less than two decades Washington’s owner started asking for a new stadium back when FedEx Field was only 17 years old. Though some stadiums, like the Giants/Jets MetLife Stadium are built with 100% private financing public tax dollars have financed the vast majority of NFL stadiums built in the last 20 years. That’s over 7 billion in public money going towards building and renovating NFL stadiums. NFL owners argue that a new stadium will generate new construction
jobs while the venue is being built all the new spending from ticket sales,
hotels, parking, tourism would cascade into the community, the wider area and would create a boom in the local economy I asked an urban planning economist if
stadiums really are a good public investment. Most of the stadiums we have
built in United States, they do not provide any positive impact – most of them. What else you could have done with this money? Let’s say they are raising 200 million dollar
and there is investing in a stadium. Instead of doing that, if they spend that money on roads, infrastructure, shopping malls, or public parks. Things that benefit the whole public,
not just football fans. For team owners, new stadiums mean
millions more in profits. They sell the name of the stadium to other corporations, host the Super Bowl, and owners maximize revenue
by building more and more luxury suites and club seating in the place of general
admission seats. Over a third of the seats are premium in the
Cowboys’ 82,000 seat stadium and a luxury suite can cost as much
as $30,000 per game. The push for new stadiums comes down to increasing profits for the owners, but cities try to
meet these demands because there’s more to a football franchise than the bottom line. Residents want teams and the hometown pride that comes with it. Even for people who never attended a game there’s a shared experience,
a collective enthusiasm for the home team. In one poll three-quarters of Indiananpolis citizens said losing the city’s NFL team would hurt the city compared to 68% who said it would hurt to lose all the city’s museums. This is coming from a city and state that
funded 86% of their new stadium even though the previous
stadium still owes millions in debt. Team owners, they have successfully tied this stadium to a civic pride. And that’s why When cities refuse to build new stadiums owners threaten to move their teams to
somewhere that will. That’s what happened in 2016 to St. Louis and 2017 to San Diego and Oakland. New stadiums aren’t the economic
powerhouses owners promise they’ll be. But as long as there are more cities
that want a home team than there are franchises, it looks like the taxpayers
are gonna keep footing the bill.