Amid the growing furor over the NFL’s acceptance of its players disrespecting our nation, the league is receiving some bad news from Washington.
As many are aware, the NFL benefits from billions in taxpayer subsidies, which help team owners build extravagant stadiums they claim help improve the local economies. However, with the recent spate of protests on the field, people from all over the country have been calling for these subsidies to be stripped from the league, and it looks like they’re going to get their wish.
According to Watchdog.org, the federal government has given the NFL over $7 billion in taxpayer cash to either build or revamp existing stadiums.
“Overall, taxpayers have spent nearly $3 billion on the 16 stadiums that will host NFL games during the season’s opening weekend. And over the past couple of decades, we’ve given NFL teams nearly $7 billion total in aid for their stadiums,” the website stated.
Some of these handouts were to the New England Patriots, who received $72 million to build Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., the Pittsburgh Steelers, who received $176.1 million for their stadium, while the Indianapolis Colts took a “modest” $619 million in taxpayer subsidies for their stadium.
As you can see, this costs us quite a lot of money. But because of the recent controversy surrounding the league, a bipartisan effort to strip the funding completely is once again gaining steam.
The Daily Caller reported that a bill to remove the subsidies introduced over the summer by Democrat Sen. Corey Booker and Republican Sen. James Lankford is gaining momentum in the Senate.
From the Daily Caller:
Last June, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford put forth a bill that would ban professional sports teams from using municipal bonds in relation to federal funding to build their sports arenas.
“Professional sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenue,” Booker said in a statement. “There’s no reason why we should give these multimillion-dollar businesses a federal tax break to build new stadiums. It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, especially when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits.”
The Oklahoma Republican senator agreed, saying, “The federal government is responsible for a lot of important functions, but financing sports stadiums for multi-million – sometimes billion – dollar franchises is definitely not one of them.”
A spokesman from Lankford’s office told The Daily Caller Sunday that in the last four weeks interest in the bill has picked up since both members proposed it four months ago.
So that’s that. Protesting the country that’s given you everything, and then some, comes with consequences.
Now let’s just hope that the renewed interest in this bill doesn’t fade away with the controversy. Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for these billionaires to build stadiums only they benefit from, all while their players are protesting the country that made it possible.