The modern Circus

Doug Bandow writes in the Washington Post about an increasingly frequent phenomenon - using taxpayer money to build sports arenas. An excerpt:

These politicians are offering the usual justifications for providing the modern version of bread and circuses to their constituents: municipal prestige, business development, new jobs. But in the end, publicly funded stadiums come down to money -- and I don't mean money for the city that gets the team. I'm talking about money for wealthy sports moguls who have turned extorting taxpayers into an art form.

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Jerry Jones (owner of the

Jerry Jones (owner of the Cowboys) wants Dallas to pay as much as $400,000,000.00 for a state-of-the-art 100,000+ person stadium with a mechanical roof. He's touting the fact that Dallas should reclaim its team (Texas Stadium is actually in Irving, a nearby city), because he knows Irving won't be able to put up the cash he wants to make the $1+ Billion stadium happen.

This is a good example of divorcing yourself from the issue. I'm a big Cowboys fan and would love a new stadium. But objectivity is of the utmost importance. This plan is a colossally bad idea for Dallas. Jerry can compromise on the design, wait to "save up" the cash, settle on a MUCH lower city contribution (how about the projected NPV benefit to Dallas over the same period of time it will take to build this thing?), and attract more/higher stakes corporate partners.

I'm hoping the mayor doesn't cave...