Yankee Stadium in New York is called “the house that Ruth built.”
Babe Ruth became a legend in his own time, selling enough tickets to make the Yankees a very successful team, not only in the record books, but also on the team’s bank statement. Ruth brought the fans, fans bought tickets and the Yankees built a great stadium. Those were the days.
Today it’s different. Oh, the games are as fun as ever, but when it comes to building stadiums, a political rip-off is taking place. You see wealthy owners today don’t build stadiums. Increasingly, you build them. That’s right, it’s your money that’s taken in taxes to pay for most of the new stadiums whether you like sports or not. Now, I love sports, but I hate political rip-offs.
It happened in Milwaukee. Voters said no for a publicly financed stadium, but the legislature stiff-armed voters, raising the sales tax to pay for it.
Pittsburgh voters turned down a plan for a new park, but the politicians are still subsidizing it.
In Seattle, voters said no to forking over $285 million for a new stadium, but the state legislature is clipping them with higher taxes and doing it anyway.
People love sports, which generate a lot of money. But when sports teams raking in millions of dollars get in bed with politicians to rip-off the taxpayers for huge subsidies it’s just flat wrong.
We don’t need an instant replay to make the call. “They’re out! Caught stealing.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.