Think sporting arenas should be funded with public money
Do you think sporting arenas should be funded with public money? Yes or No?
Publicly Funding Sport Arenas
Sports are arguably one of the passions of Americans across the country. Fullagar (2019) explains that sports finals are responsible for America’s most pride and excitement compared to other events. This type of enthusiasm is also prevalent in city governments. Cities are known to support their home teams, often willing to go to great lengths to ensure that victory remains in their respective cities. Cities also give several gifts to boost the spirits of team members (Kellison, 2020). The most common gift is funding for the local teams and modern arenas. A controversial topic surrounds public funding. Some argue that sport arenas are beneficial for the city since they create employment and boost the city’s economy. On the other hand, others maintain that the negative outcomes outweigh the benefits associated with publicly funding arenas. This paper argues that cities should not fund sporting arenas because; funding sporting arenas using public money is a poor investment deal, funding directed towards sporting arenas goes to private gain, public funding results in minimal economic gains, public arenas contribute to reduced employment rates, and diverts important funds to insignificant departments.
Firstly, publicly funding city stadiums and teams is a poor investment for any city. According to Johnson (2019), majority of economists and development professionals maintain that a town would receive much higher returns from investing in other projects within the town instead of directing the public money to sporting activities. Evidence supports that cities heavily invested in sporting activities through stadiums, arenas, or teams tend to experience slower economic growth than those that have not (Johnson, 2019).
Secondly, public money is used for private gain. In a recent study, the worth of a new stadium increases by up to $11 million per year (Johnson, 2019). The public money issued gives public subsidies to private stadiums (Quinton, 2020). The subsidies reflect in the upsurge of payroll salaries and team value annually. These subsidies do not benefit the stadiums as they go directly into the accounts of players and team owners.
In addition, public funding results in minimal economic gains. Extensive economic research regarding stadiums and their benefits shows that new stadiums may negatively impact the city’s economy (Quinton, 2020). From the analysis, existing or new stadiums do not create new wealth or economic gains. They only serve to distribute existing public funds from one entertainment venture to another. For example, Americans would gladly spend money on a sporting event instead of going to the movies. In the same manner, city municipalities would happily build a new stadium than a movie theater. Therefore, the entire system is only based on the redistribution of money in an alternative form of entertainment.
Also, costs for building and maintaining stadiums are higher than the benefits resulting from these stadiums. Lower (2019) explains that the typical cost of constructing a baseball or football stadium is approximately $185 million. In the long-term, this same building will generate only $40 million from the tax revenues and created jobs. Mathematically speaking, the ratio of cost to benefit is 4:1, a poor financial investment for the city.
Stadiums are responsible for destroying employment and reducing paid wages to workers. Wyatt (2020) explains that sports teams require fewer workers to operate and manage, and most of the job posts are temporary, varying from one game season to the next. Similarly, after the construction of the stadium, fewer people are required to maintain it. Collectively, these jobs are low-wage. Stadiums also drive out skilled labor who are in search of employment (Wyatt, 2020). Therefore, it causes the general employment rate and income inflow in the city to decline.
Moreover, stadiums can be private investment. Sroka (2020) argues that because sports is another form of entertainment, private investors can take up constructing and maintaining the stadiums. In this way, private investors will be responsible for the general cost and maintenance associated with city stadiums. In the past, Jakar (2020) explains that private stadium funding was realized, giving San Francisco Giants’ SBC Park and Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field as some private stadium examples. Thus, public funding need not be directed to funding arenas and teams of the city.
Publicly funded stadiums and arenas divert the taxpayer money from significant priorities within the city. For example, instead of diverting money to stadiums, the money could be diverted to hospitals, public education, roads, and other necessary departments that would generally make life better for all inhabitants in the city.
On the other hand, Kellison (2020) explains that funding arenas using public money is based on the fact that they will positively impact the community. For example, in the short-term, new arenas create employment opportunities. Short-term benefits are feasible because more than 3000 people are employed for the construction of the stadium, and once it is completed, more people are employed to maintain it (Kellison, 2020). In the long-term, arenas would boost tourism within the city. Bradbury (2020) claims that the publicly funded stadiums would result in a multiplier effect. This means that increased income from the new job opportunities would lead to increased spending, job creation, and investment within the city. Thus, the multiplier becomes another long-term profit for the city’s economy.
Americans generally love sports. It is common for Americans to spend more money on sporting activities as opposed to other social events. This nature of Americans is also seen in managing public funds since most of it is used in constructing new stadiums and maintaining existing ones across cities in the country. However, from the above discussions, publicly funding stadiums have more negative effects than positive ones. For example, stadiums’ economic gains are significantly less compared to the money spent to construct and maintain it. Therefore, there should be alternative ways of funding these projects, such as private funding.
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