If the rumors are true, city leaders from and around Milwaukee are preparing to give the Milwaukee Brewers roughly $520 million dollars in taxpayer money to upgrade America Family Field. Over the last few years, we have seen the Brewers asking for all sorts of different amounts of public money. Last year, they were thinking of asking for just $100 million of public money. More recently, they have been asking for $300-$430 million.
The Hillsboro Hops are a minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Just outside of Portland. Much like they are doing in most cities with a minor league team, Major League Baseball has told Hillsboro city leaders that their minor league teams will leave town if substantial upgrades or a new ballpark are not completed. I could post 1000 links of stories all over the country where a city is being told to upgrade or else by MLB. Here is one anyway. Then last week, stories began coming out of MLB requiring Hillsboro to upgrade the ballpark or else.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a history with Clearwater, Florida. Since 1947, the Phillies spring training facility and ballpark has been found here. But over the last decade or so, the Phillies have struggled to get money out of local city leaders. In early 2019, the Phillies asked for $40 million from tourist taxes for ballpark renovations and were flatly rejected. But now they are trying again. Maybe. We think.
The ballpark was to be built for the Biloxi Shuckers, the Class AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2015, the city spent $36 million to build a new ballpark. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant claimed the new ballpark “would be an economic development driver for the area”. A local foundation estimated that this new ballpark would result in “an additional $10 million annually in visitor spending”. As AL.com notes, the ballpark came with a “promise of home runs inside and outside the stadium”.
Presently, the Kansas City Royals lease with the county allows them to make money through a ⅜-cent sales tax. If the team wants to renew or change this number, it must be done through a public vote and with the blessing of the Jackson County Legislature. It has been reported that the Legislature is still waiting for the Royals to answer the most basic questions. For example, what is the language used in the ballot? How much information is on the ballet? Unfortunately, the Royals have not yet provided any direct answers. This means that right now the Royals couldn't even get to a public vote, much less win one.
Did we mention that San Diego, the city who did win the expansion team, paid a $500 million expansion fee? That is three times what their proposed stadium was supposed to cost. Yikes. The mayor also seems to enjoy telling the public how much he is doing behind the scenes. He can't just tell us because...he can't. He told the Sacramento Bee that when it comes to whether Sacramento will get an MLS team, the mayor wishes that he “could tell you and the public everything, but I can't”. What about possibly getting an MLB team? The A's? He can't tell us this either but know that he talked “with people who are very involved in these questions”.
The facts, however, show otherwise. Since 2002, the Anaheim Angels have spent $54 million on capital repairs/improvements with $12 million coming from the city. Additionally, a number of the so-called improvement projects were just upgrades that the team wanted, such as replacing their scoreboard to a newer model. Building permits show that the Angels were spending money from their pockets so that they could buy the cool, new gadget and not the contractually obligated maintenance.
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?
The A's are trying to get at least $500 million in taxpayer money for the new ballpark. As the Independent points out, that alone is slightly lower than the total amount that the city of Las Vegas brings in YEARLY from gaming taxes. The Oakland A’s believe that they are worth this money because they will bring in “400,000 new tourists to Las Vegas”. This is crazy. The A's would not bring in anywhere near this number of visitors. Based on airline issues alone with Las Vegas, making half this number would be an achievement. But maybe the A's could pull it off, considering they were dead last in attendance last year and are the lowest so far in 2023.
In the last few months, the Milwaukee Brewers have been begging city/state leaders to give them money for ballpark upgrades. The Governor of Wisconsin proposed giving the Brewers almost $300 million in public money in exchange for an additional 13 years being added to the lease. This proposal really means that taxpayers will pay closer to $450 million in renovations over the next 20 years. Several Brewers executives did a PR tour and tried to tell everyone that the Brewers “want nothing more than to continue playing baseball in Milwaukee for another generation”. He goes on to claim that the only people that can help the team are the city/state leaders … not the team itself, who are worth billions?