Sacramento has just finished building the Golden 1 (Credit Union) Center for the Sacramento Kings. Living in suburban Sacramento County in a different incorporated city, I'm glad the county didn't decide to tax me to build that arena so that rich people could get richer.
This position is actually very conservative.
This is how such things are sold: they'll raise the sales tax, for instance, a half a cent for 15 years to raise the needed revenue that the city (or whatever governmental level is kicking in) will put towards the new stadium/arena. The justification is that this will be good for the city/county, as it will bring in tourists and diners, etc., and their expenditures will help the economy and their sales taxes will be good for the government. This is called an "investment".
If I'm paying for this investment, when do I get my return? Here's how it should work, if government is going to kick in money at all: You raise the sales tax half a cent for 15 years. At the end of that 15 years, not only does that half a cent tax go away, but so does another half a cent--after all, all that tax money that the stadium/arena is bringing in should have the governmental coffers overflowing, shouldn't it? Shouldn't government--the people--get back that money they "invested"? Keep the sales tax a half a cent lower than it was originally, and do it for the same 15 year time period. If this isn't justified economically, then the government shouldn't be helping fund private entities like sports leagues in the first place. (But I'd say don't do it anyway, because that's not the purpose of government at any level.)
But Darren, you say, you just don't like the Kings! You want Sacramento to go back to being a cow town! To which I reply, if the Kings are the only thing keeping Sacramento from being a cow town, then we're already a cow town--with a basketball team. Honestly, I don't care if the Kings stay in Sacramento or not, they don't impact my life in the slightest, but I'd resent having to pay more in taxes to keep them here.
I didn't get anything out of my paying more taxes for Mount Al Davis. I wouldn't get anything out of paying more taxes for the Golden 1 Center, had Sacramento County (not City) wanted to tax me more for it.
I'm not the only person who thinks this way:
The people of San Diego won by losing.Yeah, what she said.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos did the corporate equivalent of taking his ball and going home Thursday, bolting for Los Angeles because San Diego residents had balked at building his team a fancy new stadium. Imagine the nerve of those people! Refusing to spend millions for a stadium that, studies have shown, would likely end up costing taxpayers more than what is originally estimated while providing less in return...
But he (Dean Spanos) and pretty much every other owner think they’re owed civic welfare as a show of gratitude for their benevolence in owning a sports franchise. Franchises that already line owners’ pockets with millions of the public’s money each year in the form of merchandise, ticket sales, concessions and parking, mind you...
Yes, it’s devastating to lose a team that has been part of the city’s identity for more than a half-century, and Chargers fans were understandably outraged at being jilted. In the hours after Spanos made his announcement, fans littered the sidewalk in front of the team’s headquarters with jerseys and other now-unwanted merchandise.
But if there’s anything that has become clear in all of these money grabs – and stay strong, Oakland, because you’re next – it’s that teams really don’t give a damn about their fans. So long as there are suckers in another town so blinded by the prospect of having a professional franchise that they don’t read the fine print, teams will view their fans as little more than lines on a balance sheet.
That’s not being part of the fabric of a community, that’s blackmail.