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Improving America’s Pastime: Baseball | Suggestion #11 – No Taxpayer-Financed Ballparks

By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

Suggestion #11: No Taxpayer-Financed Ballparks

WA, Seattle, Safeco Field, Mariners baseball Canvas Print
The Mariner’s Safeco Field
Cost Taxpayers $384 Million

This, I think, most of us, not all of us, can agree to: taxpayers should not have to pay for the construction of new ballparks and stadiums for billionaire team owners… even if they threaten to leave.

Why can’t the team owners or Major League Baseball pay for them? After all, they are the ones who make and keep the huge profits generated through these taxpayer-financed stadiums.

Cities like Seattle often agree to finance the construction of stadiums, fields and arenas because the owners of their professional teams threaten to leave if the city does not build them new facilities. Unfortunately, more often than not, the cities end up getting the short end of the stick. For example, not only did the taxpayers in Seattle pay $384 million for the construction of Safeco Field for the Mariners, but they still owe and are paying down nearly $70 million for the previous baseball/multi-purpose stadium, the Kingdome, which was imploded more than a decade ago. (Not to mention the $300 million the Seattle taxpayers agreed to pay for the construction of CenturyLink Field to keep the Seahawks.)

Should Taxpayers Pay for Yankee Stadium?

We, the taxpayers, have enough trouble finding the money needed to fix roads, maintain schools, pay police and fire departments, and meet our obligations to take care of the sick, poor and elderly. We cannot afford to finance the building of stadiums for billionaires… and even if we could afford it, we should not do it on principle.

It’s a matter of fairness.

NOTE: This was the eleventh of a 30-part series of posts offering suggestions (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) on how I would improve the game of baseball. This series is based on my original (very long) post: Baseball: How I (A Girl) Would Improve America’s Pastime, it provides the context for this series of posts. I hope you enjoy the series and offer your own suggestions! All the best, -Martie

Martie Hevia (c) 2011-2012 – All Rights Reserved

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