Back to Prendergast, he also wrote that although the funding of this new stadium is arguably the most important part of, there has been “little discussion of stadium funding”. One would think that a city would take its time with such a complicated deal, but that rarely happens today. Rushing city leaders is how sports owners who are worth billionaires get many millions in taxpayer money while providing little to the city.
Let’s also not forget that the city of Cleveland still needs to pay off $53 million in bonds for the current stadium. Doesn’t the stadium provide the city with enough revenue to help pay those off? As CleveScene wrote in an excellent article this week, a city councilwoman went over the numbers and got a clear answer: No. After going over the money that the city has put into the Browns current stadium along with the rent given back to the city by the Browns owners and money collected from their local sin tax, it was found that the stadium revenues do not even cover the city’s expenses from the stadium.
“We were told, not only with the Browns’ stadium and with Gateway and the (Indians’) ballpark and the (Cavs’) arena, that somehow our plight was going to substantially improve in this city,” he said. “I have a historical perspective. I’ve heard all the lines of (crap) about how we’re going to turn this around and turn that around. We’re going to benefit all these minority jobs and dah-dah-dah-dah. What a crock of (bleep). They got us once. Should they get us again?”– Crain’s Cleveland Business, 03/16/23
Sports teams in Cleveland continue to beg the city for money while their owners make millions and are worth billions. It was just last year that the city of Cleveland gave the Guardians, their MLB baseball team, $138 million for Progressive Field improvements and renovations. The Cleveland Cavaliers got $70 million to update Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in 2019. In 2014, the Cavaliers, Indians and Browns got $260 million dollars through an extension of a tax on alcohol and cigarettes.