Who to really blame for sports stadium subsidies


Your tax dollars at work.

Realistic rating: 5.5

Last week, I wrote a piece for the Federalist about how the media covers government subsidies for professional sports stadiums. (Like my last post on tennis ranking methods, this is a post about media coverage—not a proposal about a formal rule or protocol from a new team, but it still gets a “realistic rating” simply for the likelihood of it occurring.)

First off, if you aren’t familiar with this issue, I’d direct you to a piece in The Atlantic about how government subsidies for stadiums are a horrible deal for taxpayers. (In my article, though, you’ll see why you should skip the headline on that story and just go straight to the text.)

Unlike the tennis rankings post, this idea of placing more blame on the politicians who hand out these sweetheart deals rather than the owners who ask for them has a much higher likelihood of being more widely adopted by the media. (For obvious reasons, mainly that this isn’t some entirely new-fangled statistics idea being thrown out by some guy on the Internet but simply a shifting in what appears to be a 2-3 option decision.) And as the terrible effects of crony stadium subsidy deals become more well-known, more smart people will investigate the true causes and see where to point the finger.

Anyways, take a look at the whole piece here.


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