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Bill introduced to eliminate tax subsidies for pro stadium construction

The NFL’s current controversies have consequences. For NFL teams and all other American pro sports teams, potentially.

A trio of U.S. Representatives introduced on Tuesday a bill that would immediately eliminate a tax subsidy used by professional teams when constructing stadiums.

Via John Keim of, Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) have proposed what they call the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act.

Speier cited the ongoing Washington Commanders workplace investigation (and the Congressional investigation of the investigation) in explaining her support for the move.

“The NFL has proven once again that it can’t play by the rules,” Speier said. “As such, taxpayers-subsidized municipal bonds should no longer be a reward for the Washington Commanders and other teams that continue to operate workplaces that are dens of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. It doesn’t make economic sense, and it’s particularly galling given the league’s longstanding failure to address issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as on-going racial and gender discrimination and domestic violence.”

“Super-rich sports team owners like Dan Snyder do not need federal support to build their stadiums, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund them,” Beyer said in a statement. “Billionaire owners who need cash can borrow from the market like any other business.”

In recent years, the public mood has soured dramatically on the notion of paying for professional stadiums. Most teams who want or need new or renovated venue nevertheless have found ways to squeeze taxpayer money in their current locations, because other places (like Las Vegas) are willing to throw cash at a team that may move there. At the federal level, there’s really no current need for any type of break -- especially as these teams are benefitting tremendously from the explosion of legalized sports wagering.

With more and more states allowing betting programs based on professional sports and with the leagues finding more and more ways to convert the previously-illegal activity (in all states but Nevada) into a major revenue streams, these teams and league will make more and more and more money. The franchises will have more and more and more value. Thus, there’s less and less (and less) reason for taxpayer money to be devoted to private businesses to make ends meet when, to borrow a line from an old Eddie Murphy routine, the ends are meeting like a mutherf--ker.