Cheer on your team, jeer on the owner

Friday, January 22, 2016
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

NFL logoWhen another round of NFL playoffs come this weekend, an economist suggests taxpayers should be among those paying attention. 

The NFL announced in 2015 that it was dropping its tax-exempt status, a decision that made headlines in a variety of news outlets.

Some people suggested the NFL was being forced to pay more in taxes because a league with billionaire owners was getting by without paying them.

But that's not the case anymore, says Jared Meyer of the Manhattan Institute.

"The league gave up its tax-exempt status, and it was really an inconsequential amount of money that it saved by doing so,” Meyer advises.

The “real way” the NFL “fleeces” taxpayers, he says, is by owners getting generous stadium subsidies to build their “palaces” to play in.

Even though these stadiums are publicly funded, Meyer says the revenues from them are completely privately owned.

Meyer

But what about the tax revenue generated from concession stand purchases, merchandise sales, and the neighborhood restaurant welcoming fans?

"Consumers are going to spend their money elsewhere if they don't go to the NFL games,” says Meyer, who says $86 was the average ticket price last year.

“They would maybe use that at a restaurant or movie theaters or something like that,” he adds. “It's not as if this money would not get spent if there wasn't an NFL team.”

In a related article, Meyer highlights the four teams playing for a chance to make this year's Super Bowl. Meyer says the worst team "has to be the Arizona Cardinals."

"They play in the small town of Glendale, Arizona, which has under 250,000 residents, yet state and local taxpayers had to pay $312 million for their new stadium,” Meyer complains.

That's almost 90 percent of the stadium's costs, he says, telling OneNewsNow that 40 percent of the city's debt comes from its sports complexes.

The Denver Broncos are second on Meyer's list.

"Taxpayers had to pay $300 million of the $400 million for Sports Authority Field, and this was paid for (with) a higher sales tax,” Meyer says.

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