The city of Richmond at this time was dealing with “revenue shortfalls” that “forced (public) schools to cut millions of dollars … forcing scores of layoffs, furloughs and other job cuts”. What better time to help out a billionaire sports owner. That year, the Washington Redskins (Commanders will be used from now on) announced that their training camp would move 100 miles south to Richmond in the following year, 2013. The agreement states that summer training camps will be held in Richmond for the following 8 years. In addition, the team announced that their corporate headquarters (in Loudoun County) would receive a $30 million upgrade, some of this was to be paid for by Virginia taxpayers.
Yesterday, I read an interesting opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune. In it, a woman claims that the city of Chicago should just hand back naming rights money along with ownership of the Chicago Bears stadium land. Why? Because the Bears owners family is nice? I don't know. I couldn't find anything substantive or factual about her belief that the city doing this would make a single difference compared to today.
Now, Fort Lauderdale is getting ready to build a new $25 million park that will cost Inter Miami $13 million dollars (the city pays the rest) and should open by 2025. The park will include new fields for all sorts of sports and even a dog area. In addition, the city has now stopped the team from using the land for parking. The team was given a chance to pay the $1.4 million dollars in overdue building permit fees, but nothing was given, and the bills remain unpaid. Keep in mind that this is the same owner who has already been caught cheating by the MLS for under-reporting wages to foreign players. Yeah, that sounds like someone who will follow through.
A full year had not even passed since FC Cincinnati's housing promise, when the Cincinnati Enquirer found out that at least 20 people were, in fact, being displaced by the new stadium. Many more would follow, and the above two examples are ones of many that I could write about. The kicking out of the 99-year-old woman caused so much local anger that FC Cincinnati decided to keep her building in their plans, rather than destroy it. But FC Cincinnati doesn't do good things like that without something in return.
The Philadelphia Union, the local MLS team, will get $250,000 in county tax breaks for their new Stadium, WSFS Bank Sportsplex. Specifically, the Delaware County Council allowed the Philadelphia Union to not pay any county real estate taxes. This lasts for the next 10 years and will be done on a sliding scale that starts at the team being exempted 100% this year and down to 10% at the end. According to the city and not a single economist alive, this should allow for the city to see direct spending increase by $9 million dollars. Why? Because this new stadium will be life-changing. Millions in economic impact. Tons of new jobs.
Jacksonville has already given so much to the Jaguars. Remember when the city hosted the Super Bowl in 2015? Around $40 million dollars in taxpayer money was given to the team to improve the stadium just for that game. In 2013, the city gave the team another $45 million for upgrades and renovations. In 2015, the city split the bill with the team on a $90 million project....so another $45 million.
This project has been cost-confusing since it first was introduced to the public years ago. Occasionally, it can be confusing to keep up with how much the cost is increasing. Other times, it can be from listening to Indy Eleven officials talk finances of the project and make no sense at all.
Last week, Crain's Chicago Business had a good article discussing the financial issues that the city is facing with the current Bears stadium. Even though the Bears are trying to scam another city into paying for a new stadium, their current one continues to cost the city of Chicago millions of dollars. Basically, the city… Continue reading Chicago has $700M left in debt payments for Solider Field, Hotel Tax revenues falter
Cleveland. For the love of all that is holy and important. Stop agreeing to pay for all capital repairs for your sports teams. It is costing you SO MUCH MONEY. Your city already has so many financial issues to worry about. Will your local banks go bankrupt? Will your local health centers continue to lose… Continue reading Why on earth did Cleveland agree to fund repairs for the Cavaliers arena?
Keep in mind that the stadium continues to kill the city of Jacksonville's finances every year. In one specific year, the stadium cost the city $23 million while bringing in just $4.5 million. Nothing says good deal like an 80% loss.