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AFP-TN: Metro Council Should Let Voters Decide on Corporate Welfare Stadium

Sep 4, 2018 by AFP

Grassroots group comments on Nashville’s fiscal struggles to pay $50,000 for a referendum on stadium proposal

NASHVILLE, Ten. – Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) today issued the following statement after Nashville’s Metro Finance Director Talia Lomax-O’dneal said Nashville doesn’t have the $50,000 needed to place the proposed, taxpayer-funded Major League Soccer stadium on the November ballot.

The referendum would give voters the opportunity to vote on whether $50 million in general obligation bonds should be used to fund the proposed MLS stadium.

“If Nashville can’t afford $50,000 for a referendum, how can the city possibly afford the millions of dollars it will need to partially fund the stadium?” said AFP-TN State Director, Tori Venable. “Taxpayer funds should benefit taxpayers, and this stadium proposal will only worsen Nashville’s fiscal woes with little to no economic benefit. Publicly-funded stadiums are notoriously bad investments, so we continue to urge the Metro Council to reject this corporate welfare proposal.”

Background:

study by Harvard professor Judith Grant Long found that, on average, 78 percent of stadium costs fall on the taxpayers, with only 22 percent being paid for by team owners.

Victor Matheson, an economist at Holy Cross who has studied the economic impact of stadium construction for decades, states that the true economic benefit of major events like the Super Bowl or championship games is typically one-tenth of what supporters like the NFL and team owners claim.