NBC News3: Taxpayers Fund New Baseball Stadium 10_NBC3_baseball_stadium

June 14, 2024 02:50 PM


The deal for the new A’s baseball stadium coming to Las Vegas keeps getting worse for taxpayers — from the project getting $380 million in public financing that is being forced on taxpayers, to the team asking to play 8 home games per season at other locations outside Las Vegas, all while funds could be going to Nevada’s schools, which are among the states with lowest per pupil spending in the country.
1. Why is the team asking to play so many games outside las Vegas and how does that impact the stadium and the money it generates?
A: This station has reported a lot on the Oakland A’s stadium and the $380 million in taxpayer-backed public financing for this stadium. There’s a group that sued and tried to get a question on the November ballot to pose to voters: do you want to support funding for this stadium” the court said you cant get that question on the ballot.
Now, the most recent development is that the A’s president said they want to be able to play up to 8 games per year outside of Las Vegas to build the team’s brand, promote the club and attract players and sponsors.
There’s a few issues with that: 1-The whole reason Nevada’s politicians were sold on this is the alleged fantastic economic impact the team and the stadium will have on Las Vegas, bringing in over $1 billion in economic revenue each year. That could be diminished if they’re not in town.
2- Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill said that high number of home games away from Las Vegas could affect the bonding capacity for the stadium, which stands at $120 million.
He said the team should consider reducing its requested number of games to ensure it has the bonding capacity needed to finance stadium construction. He said “If you eliminate 10 percent of the games that will be played at the stadium, chances are you're going to eliminate about 10 percent of that bonding capacity.”
2. What’s the school funding argument from the group that tried to get this stadium funding question on the ballot?
A: The political action committee, Schools Over Stadiums, argued in court that the taxpayers should be able to vote on whether their taxes go to this stadium, or other things, like schools. The Nevada Supreme Court said no, you can’t get this question on the ballot, you’re stuck paying for this stadium.
The U.S. Census just released its figures for the most recent year available that shows Nevada remains among the states with the lowest per-pupil funding in schools.
While it’s not ranked 48th as some groups have said, Nevada is really 42 — it has the 8th lowest spending per pupil in the country. The nationwide average is $15,633 and Nevada’s is $11,677 — 25% lower than the national average.
If you look at the numbers, you can see a trend of other states increasing their spending year-over-year, while Nevada does not keep up with that pace of spending in schools. The state has always been on the low end but in recent year, say since 2017, the gap between the high spending states and the low spending states has grown.
3. How does the stadium funding compare to other cities and states?
A: We know Allegiant Stadium where the Raiders play, got $750 million in public assistance in 2016/2017.
While Major League Baseball does have a lot of taxpayer funded stadiums, the NFL has the most among professional sports leagues. There are 30 stadiums that host NFL teams, only 3 did not take taxpayer money.
If you ask economists about taxpayer funded stadiums, they will say over and over that the math does not add up in favor of the taxpayers and the cities they’re in. That it’s “conning taxpayers into redistributing their income to the billionaire owners of sports franchises.”
The Tennessee Titans, the Buffalo Bills in NY, and the Chicago Bears are all getting new stadiums with large funding packages from taxpayers, all promising to have a high economic impact on these areas, create jobs and keep the teams in those cities.
The reality is, these stadiums do not increase property values as their proponents claim, they may increase economic activity near the stadium at bars and restaurants and hotels, but it’s most likely just relocating that activity from other areas nearby, and its jobs it creates are seasonal and low wage.
The Atlantic reported Sporting venues "do not come close to generating enough economic activity to pay back the public investment involved in building them.”
So why shouldn’t taxpayers be the ones to decide at the voting booth whether they want to subsidize stadiums for billionaires?
There are cities where voters were given the option and they said NO.
Two months ago, voters in Kansas City, Missouri, said they don’t want to increase sales tax to pay for renovations at the stadium that’s home to the NFL Super Bowl Champion Chiefs and MLB’s Royals.
So taxpayers in Nevada are being forced to pay for this stadium instead of increasing spending in schools or other services, the team may play 10% of its games not at the stadium, it’s a raw deal for Nevada taxpayers.



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