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Economic Impact of Sports Stadiums America is in the middle of a sports construction boom Crompton 1 New sports facilities costing at least 200 million each have been finished or are under way in Baltimore Charlotte Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Milwaukee Nashville San Francisco St Louis Seattle Tampa and Washington DC and are in the planning stages in Boston Dallas Minneapolis New York and Pittsburgh Major stadium renovations have been undertaken in Jacksonville and Oakland Industry experts estimate that more than 7 billion will be spent on new facilities for professional sports teams before 2006 Most of this 7 billion will come from public sources The subsidy starts with the federal government which allows state and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to help finance sports facilities Tax exemption lowers interest on debt and so reduces the amount that cities and teams must pay for a stadium Since 1975 the interest rate reduction has varied between 24 and 45 percentage points Assuming a differential of 3 percentage points the discounted present value loss in federal taxes for a 225 million stadium is about 70 million or more than 2 million a year over a useful life of 30 years Ten facilities built in the 1970s and 1980s including the Superdome in New Orleans the Silverdome in Pontiac the now-obsolete Kingdome in Seattle and Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands each cause an annual federal tax loss exceeding 1 million State and local governments pay even larger subsidies than Washington Coates 601 Sports facilities now typically cost the host city more than 10 million a year Perhaps the most successful new baseball stadium Oriole Park at Camden Yards costs Maryland residents 14 million a year Renovations arent cheap either the net cost to local government for refurbishing the Oakland Coliseum for the Raiders was about 70 million Most large cities are willing to spend big to attract or keep a major league franchise
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