Monday, October 25, 2010

Would a sports profit tax help build stadiums?

After South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports columnist Dave Hyde suggests municipalities charge a "profit tax" to sports teams that get tax dollars for a stadium, Neil deMause from Field of Schemes pitches a better idea:
Put (a tax on profits) in the stadium lease: If you want public money, agree to share any resulting profits with the taxpayers. On the few instances elected officials have had the chutzpah to suggest this, though, team owners have roundly rejected it: It would require them to open their books, it would prevent them from re-signing Dan Uggla, etc.
He's certainly right - owners would never go for it. Having to share the new revenues from a new stadium would largely defeat the purpose of building it.

Anyone got any other ideas how to pay for a Rays stadium?


  1. Take the ticket selling business away from Ticketbastard and let the Rays do their own direct ticketing system. I wouldn't mind paying a $4 service charge if I knew 100% of that was going toward a new stadium.

    Let's say the Rays sell, on the average, 10K tickets to a game in 2011. $4 service fee * 10K * 81 home game = $3.24m in generated revenue.

    Sure, that's a drop in the bucket for the cost of a new stadium, but it's a start. Over 10 years, that's $32.4m generated just from ticket sales. Tack on a rental car tax that places such as Dallas and Omaha have done to generate new football and baseball stadiums ($4 a day in Omaha), and you could probably come up with 25% of the total costs in 10 years.

  2. From what I understand, a large chunk of those Ticketmaster "service fees" is actually kickbacks to the event promoter. I don't know for a fact that the Rays are getting it in this case, but it's how it typically works for concerts and such.

  3. I'm barely a sports fan, but I am a fan of having a thriving local economy and one idea hit me today at random. We need to get rid of westshore mall - it is an aging relic who's relevancy vanished with the construction of International Plaza. Why don't we build a movie theater and International Plaza, tear down Westshore and put the stadium in it's place? It will be centrally located and just a heartbeat away from the Howard Frankland. And all that building (and demolition) will create jobs both for stadium construction, but also for the already successful International Plaza.

  4. If only someone had the money to make that happen, Jac, it would be a novel concept!