Professional sports are a cash cow these days, with billionaires owning teams, and finding ways to get richer and richer off of them in the process. The cost of attending a sporting event is through the roof, and good luck if you’re a fan of a good team in a major market – have you looked at the price of Cubs or Yankees tickets lately?
Even worse is when the billionaires find a way to make the taxpayers – the ones who pay for the chance to attend the games – fund brand new, multi-million-dollar stadiums. History has shown that these government deals with the team owners never work out well for the taxpayers, but they still keep happening anyway. We took a look at the worst stadium deals from the point of view of the taxpayer, who have routinely been stuck with the bill while the team owners rake in all of the rewards.
7. The Raiders’ Stadium in Las Vegas
The Oakland Raiders were looking for a new home, and the city of Las Vegas was desperate to attract an NFL team. That was a dangerous combination. When private investors pulled out of a stadium deal that was viewed as unwise, putting a gigantic football stadium likely right next to the airport near a heavily traveled highway, the city went ahead and put the bill on the taxpayers.
When Sheldon Adelson withdrew his support, which would’ve covered $650 million of the $1.9 billion project, the government chipped in $750 million in taxpayer dollars – a professional sports record. It’s hard to see how this pays off in favor of the residents of Las Vegas, but at least they’ll get eight NFL games per season.