The mayor of Albuquerque wants a soccer stadium. He wants it badly. Since 2021, he has been begging city leaders and the public to let him help New Mexico United build a new stadium with taxpayer money. Two years ago, he finally got the city to put up a stadium proposition for a public vote. He spent weeks begging residents to approve the proposal.
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.
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.
Maybe patience is the way to go. Inter Miami seems like a truthful organization. Even though they are a new MLS team, it isn't like this ownership group has already been involved in a major cheating scandal. Except two years ago, when they tried signing several world-class players and lied about their salaries. MLS would eventually penalize the owner of Inter Miami and other executives with million dollar fines.
Las Vegas has tried several times to lure a Major League Soccer (MLS) team here with taxpayer funded options. In 2015, MLS passed on putting a new team in Las Vegas due to questions and issues about the proposed new and publicly funded stadium.