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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for professional stadiums

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Thoughts on this? Most surprising for me were the details about the impacts on the surrounding community.


P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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110% agree, and can't stand Marlin's management as a result.

Basically they just got the public (who they put down in off camera quotes) to foot the bill for their franchise.

All behind the guise that it benefits the community with additional revenue, blah, blah, blah.

Bottom line:

It makes them a TON of money, and at no cost.

Should be done away with IMHO, but never will be.

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When the brewers built Miller Park they asked for like a 1/10 of a cent sales tax in a five county region around where the team plays. The Brewers also fronted some money and took a loan out. It was met with resistance and in a recall election it even cost a man his job as state senator. The stadium did have naming rights before it was even completed. Since then Miller Park has hosted concerts, international friendly matches, the All Star Game, even professional bowling championship. It hosted WW 2 veterans for a screening of a movie called honor flight. People may have hated it back then but the stadium did pay its dividends.
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USMCOWL said

When the brewers built Miller Park they asked for like a 1/10 of a cent sales tax in a five county region around where the team plays. The Brewers also fronted some money and took a loan out. It was met with resistance and in a recall election it even cost a man his job as state senator. The stadium did have naming rights before it was even completed. Since then Miller Park has hosted concerts, international friendly matches, the All Star Game, even professional bowling championship. It hosted WW 2 veterans for a screening of a movie called honor flight. People may have hated it back then but the stadium did pay its dividends.

Posted On: Jul 14th 2015, 2:14 PM #346453


If you were buying a stock with that kind of dividend you wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Part of the problem, these billionaires have the best attorneys from the best schools negotiating with civil servants and politicians who are selling to their constituents that they are bringing jobs to the community.   one of the biggest lies ever told.  You don't spend hundreds of millions of dollars to attract minimum wage jobs.

The Marlins stadium when you get all done with it, construction cost, infrastructure improvements (roads, water, electricity, etc), and capital cost (interest expense) will cost the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County (glad I don't live there) over a billion dollars.  The craziest thing about the Marlins deal is that the county and the city didn't demand to see the Marlins audited financial statements.  The people negotiating for the taxpayers just were not qualified for the job.

At least with the Sun Life Stadium project Ross is going out of pocket and only getting money for events (Super Bowls, National Championship Games, International Soccer games) the stadium brings in.  But I am sure we will find that the taxpayer will be screwed in this deal as well.
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Rick said

110% agree, and can't stand Marlin's management as a result.

Basically they just got the public (who they put down in off camera quotes) to foot the bill for their franchise.

All behind the guise that it benefits the community with additional revenue, blah, blah, blah.

Bottom line:

It makes them a TON of money, and at no cost.

Should be done away with IMHO, but never will be.


Posted On: Jul 14th 2015, 1:30 PM #346452

Just curious, you see a big difference in using tax payer dollars compared to using students fees to subsidize?


Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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walty12 said

Just curious, you see a big difference in using tax payer dollars compared to using students fees to subsidize?
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:26 PM #346456

No, both are tax and spend policies and virtually identical aside from the fact that one is temporary and the other just keeps increasing.

Have never been a fan of student fees without direct accountability.
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Rick said

walty12 said

Just curious, you see a big difference in using tax payer dollars compared to using students fees to subsidize?
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:26 PM #346456

No, both are tax and spend policies and virtually identical aside from the fact that one is temporary and the other just keeps increasing.

Have never been a fan of student fees without direct accountability.
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:36 PM #346457

But say with stadium tax that can eventually come off the "books" as soon as the cost is paid for. Rick is right, student fees keep increasing.
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USMCOWL said

Rick said

walty12 said

Just curious, you see a big difference in using tax payer dollars compared to using students fees to subsidize?
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:26 PM #346456
No, both are tax and spend policies and virtually identical aside from the fact that one is temporary and the other just keeps increasing.

Have never been a fan of student fees without direct accountability.
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:36 PM #346457
But say with stadium tax that can eventually come off the "books" as soon as the cost is paid for. Rick is right, student fees keep increasing.

Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:44 PM #346458


That tax will never come off the books.  Somewhere in the 12 to 20 year range the owners of the Marlins will say, the stadium is obsolete, we can't compete, we can't get All-Star games, we need to do a major renovation and we want you to pay for it.  BAM, the 30 year amortization and bed tax has just been extended another 25 years.

The athletic fee needs to be reduced as soon as possible and that will only be possible with consistent winning which will hopefully bring outside funding (tickets sales, naming rights, advertising, etc.).

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The only way we are getting rid of our student fees to subsidize our athletic programs is through a conference that has big television contract money...

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Rick said

walty12 said

Just curious, you see a big difference in using tax payer dollars compared to using students fees to subsidize?
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:26 PM #346456
No, both are tax and spend policies and virtually identical aside from the fact that one is temporary and the other just keeps increasing.

Have never been a fan of student fees without direct accountability.
Posted On: Jul 15th 2015, 12:36 PM #346457
Its just an interesting take to say that having a new stadium and a pro sports team doesn't effect a city, county, state.  Kind of like arguing that FAU's football program and stadium doesn't really create jobs and is a waste.  Well, its a much larger more complex argument than that.  We all know it influences student pride,  alumni pride, application rates, visibility, etc.

It is very hard to measure and quantify the difference made by a successful sports team in a city or at a University.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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