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.
This year, the number of murders in Oakland has risen 16 percent; rapes, 24 percent; and burglaries, 43 percent, according to a city crime report. The average response time to emergency calls in Oakland has slowed to 17 minutes this year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in August.
This is the most comprehensive look at pro sports carpet-bagging I've ever read. The number of informative links is amazing.
Read about how pro sports teams take advantage of municipalities' lower borrowing costs to fund their temples.
Enlighten yourselves about how you're cheering for the [Insert City Name Here] Tax Dodgers.
Particularly for hockey fans, marvel at how Glendale city council engages in pretzel logic to defend giving money to the Coyotes while chopping essential services.
Remember Willard Romney bragging about being some kind of free-market guru? You might also remember he was CEO of the 2002 Olympic organizing committee in Mormon Flats:
...if Washington’s powers-that-be want to get the nation’s financial house in order, it wouldn’t hurt to stop shoveling money at every cash-flush sports-related special interest that comes calling on Capitol Hill -- like, for instance, the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, partially made possible thanks to a staggering $1.5 billion in federal handouts.
And finally, a paper that suggests building a sports temple results in demonstrably lower revenue to the taxing authority that paid for it.
Our results indicate:
• The professional sports environment in the 37
metropolitan areas in our sample had no measurable
impact on the growth rate of real per capita
income in those areas.
•The professional sports environment has a statistically
significant impact on the level of real per
capita income in our sample of metropolitan areas,
and the overall impact is negative.