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Video: John Oliver goes after publicly-funded stadiums

Great American Ballpark Getty

We’ve been having at publicly-funded ballparks for years here at HBT. Like the one the All-Star Game will be played in tomorrow and which has gone a long, long way toward ruining the finances of Hamilton County, Ohio.

John Oliver went after this in comprehensive fashion last night, hammering home the point that governments have no more business underwriting ballparks, stadiums and arenas than they have paying for shopping malls, bank offices or hotels. Sports teams are businesses just like those things, not public institutions, and they almost always operate at obscene profits and are owned by fabulously wealthy men or corporations. And, despite what any team owner or public official claims, there is virtually zero evidence that public investment in stadiums provides any public benefit. Rather, they just help the rich owners get richer.