According to Harvard professor Judith Grant Long and economist Andrew Zimbalist, the average public contribution to the total capital and operating cost per sports stadium from 2000 to 2006 was between $249 and $280 million. A fantastic interactive map at Deadspin estimates that the total cost to the public of the 78 pro stadiums built or renovated between 1991 and 2004 was nearly $16 billion.
The City of Glendale also continues to pay the debt service charge of $12.6 million per year for Jobing.Com Arena. The City's costs of $27.1 million are offset by anticipated Coyotes-related revenue of $14.2 million, according to projections from Glendale's city management department,leaving an annual deficit of $12.9 million to keep the team. The total cost to Glendale after the thirty-year term of the ownership deal is $271 million, or nearly $1,200 for each of Glendale's 226,721 citizens.
Another complicating factor is that the ingredients that go into making a profitable sports team are not well-understood, so the value proposition (i.e. "which stadium deals are merely bad intead of awful") is hard for municipal governments to adequately assess. The profitability of the team isn't the only variable, but certainly if the team isn't making enough, it runs the risk of bankruptcy or moving to another city, and suddenly you have a very expensive empty mausoleum.
Crime-Ridden Oakland Lays Off 200 Police Officers While Giving $17 Million To Pro Sports Teams
Oakland, California, the fifth-most crime ridden city in America, faced a $32 million budget deficit last year. It closed the gap by dismissing a fourth of its police force, more than 200 officers.
Untouched was the $17.3 million that the city pays to stage 10 games a season for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders and to host Major League Baseball's Athletics in the O.co Coliseum. The funds cover debt financing and operations and are supplemented by $13.3 million from surrounding Alameda County, based on data compiled by Bloomberg from public records.
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