WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — A proposal by the Obama administration would put an end to the use of taxpayer-financed, tax-free bonds to build sports and entertainment venues.
The proposal, introduced as a part of the president's new budget, would put an end to the practice, which, according to a 2012 analysis by Bloomberg, costs the U.S. Treasury as much as $146 million per year.
The proposal comes as many teams are actively seeking public assistance to build new stadiums or arenas, including a new multi-sport complex in Oakland, a new stadium in St. Louis for the NFL football team The Rams and a new arena in Milwaukee for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.
Team owners and politicians have long argued that public subsidies for sports and entertainment venues are effective at driving economic growth in the surrounding communities but that is a view not shared by many economists. A 2008 analysis of more than 40 40 academic studies, spanning nearly two decades, found that there was no substantial benefit to public subsidization.
"There now exists almost 20 years of research on the economic impact of professional sports franchises and facilities on the local economy," survey authors Dennis Coates of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Brad Humphreys of West Virginia University wrote, noting that studies published in peer-reviewed economic journals show there is "almost no evidence that professional sports franchises and facilities have a measurable economic impact on the economy." – Staff Writers