Tax Breaks for Sports Franchises

There is often much discussion as to whether or not sports franchises should receive tax breaks and incentives for building a new facility in a particular city. Often times, and rightfully so, there is much opposition to this concept.

Many people believe that because sports figures receive huge salaries and incentives for playing, the industry has plenty of money and doesn’t need tax payer assistance. Many believe that the fans should pay for any new stadium as they are the ones who will be benefiting from it. Most often the opinions vary depending on whether or not the individual is a sports fan.

If you look at a sports franchise as a business, which in today’s world, that is the way it needs to be addressed, one begins to realize that most states and municipalities give some sort of tax break for large industries to locate in the area. Often times, the revenue received from not only sports teams but industries as well, far out weigh the revenue lost in tax dollars.

There are many arguments both supporting and against this. Many people believe no business or corporation should receive tax breaks or special funding. This idea of giving tax breaks for businesses was born in the 1970’s. Many companies were being regulated and taxed to death in the northern states, mainly Michigan. Southern states began to realize they could offer a better and more competitive business environment by their already lower taxes and costs of doing business.

Soon the idea caught on, and a competition arose as to which state could give the better deal. It gained a lot of momentum and today it has almost gotten out of hand. Looking back, this whole problem was only created because local and state governments got greedy and kept killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

The idea of sports franchises receiving incentives for staying or moving to a particular city sprang from this movement. Soon teams were demanding new stadiums that weren’t needed, and huge tax incentives besides.

Things are starting to turn around, in some instances, sports teams can no longer hold a city hostage. there have been several examples where a team threatened to move their franchise if a new stadium wasn’t built, the city refused, and no other city could be found to fail into the trap. As a result, the team stayed where they are and forced to play in a facility that is barely 30 years old.

I, myself am a huge sports fan, however, I believe that if the ancient Egyptians could build pyramids to last thousands of years,I think a sports team should be able to suffer through the hardship of playing in a facility that is only 30 years old. Maybe tax breaks are a good idea, but let’s not waste our hard earned money building facilities we really don’t need.