Stadium Subsidies a Losing Deal for Taxpayers

July 25, 2005

One of our talented summer analysts—Eric A. Miller of the University of Rochester landed a piece in Sunday’s Washington Post laying out the case against a taxpayer-funded stadium in our nation’s capital. Here’s an excerpt:

In its quest to bring professional baseball back to Washington, the D.C. Council agreed to build a new stadium for the Washington Nationals that is to be largely financed by taxpayer dollars. This is a sweetheart deal that will allow Major League Baseball to sell the team at a price that virtually guarantees it a profit while likely creating a burden for D.C. taxpayers…

Economists seldom agree, but the many studies done over the past decade all arrived at the same conclusion: Publicly funded stadiums do not deliver the benefits they promise…

The D.C. Council estimates that a new stadium will create 380 direct and indirect jobs for D.C. residents, but most of these jobs will be day-of-game positions for food vendors, parking lot attendants and other unskilled workers.

Local taxpayers will be forking over more than $1 million a job for such part-time, low-wage positions that won’t even pay enough to support a family.

Read the full piece here.

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