Tags: public | funding | stadiums

Don't Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Thursday, 06 Jan 2011 10:46 AM

More localities are questioning public money for sports stadiums. Sports teams are discovering that as state and local budgets shrink, public financing for stadiums and other facilities is becoming tougher to obtain, The New York Times reports. But franchises haven't stopped demanding it, and some municipalities are still finding ways to oblige them, even as the political climate turns against tax-backed sports venues.

struggle, paying, stadiumsIn Florida, two-thirds polled said no to public money for a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark. Tampa's baseball rivals, the New York Yankees, got some public assistance for their new Bronx stadium but also issued their own municipal-style construction bonds so the city wouldn't have to. In Texas, the Dallas Cowboys' new mammoth football palace is largely self-financed.

Some localities are still playing ball. Mesa, Az., acceded to the Chicago Cubs' demands for a new, publicly funded spring-training baseball facility after the team threatened to move. Cash-strapped San Francisco, preparing to host the Americas Cup, gave the yacht-race organization no money but an in-kind bonanza: a free lease and future development rights on a prime chunk of waterfront property.

The Miami Dolphins are taking their campaign for public assistance next door: The team has asked neighboring Broward County to help fund a $225 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium, which sits in Miami-Dade County, the Sun Sentinel of South Florida reports.

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