Resolution Opposing Taxpayer Financing of Professional Sports Stadiums

Summary

The resolution opposes taxpayer financing of professional sports stadiums and venues.

Resolution Opposing Taxpayer Financing of Professional Sports Stadiums

Summary

The resolution opposes taxpayer financing of professional sports stadiums and venues.

Definitions

“Professional sports” means any sporting event or competition featuring non-amateur athletes. High school or collegiate level athletics and competitions funded solely by 501(c)(3) non-profit entities within their charitable purpose are excluded from this definition.

“Stadium” or “Professional Sports Stadium” means a venue that hosts two or more professional sports events in a calendar year, or two or more practices for any professional sports events. “Stadium” includes practice and development facilities, office space, merchandising facilities, restaurants, or lodging for either major and minor league professional sports teams.

“Subsidy” means, direct funding, tax credit, tax exemption, government bond, loan, loan guarantee, or any other funding mechanism that comes from state or local government.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, over the last few decades billions of dollars in public money has been spent on private professional sports stadiums and facilities; and,

WHEREAS, state and local governments should spend their financial resources on the core functions of government, such as public safety, education, and roads; and,

WHEREAS, the funding of sports stadiums and venues often crowds out these core functions of government; and,

WHEREAS, the promises of economic development and increased economic activity from professional sports stadiums are often overstated or never materialize; and,

WHEREAS, the consumer spending on sports entertainment after stadiums are constructed often comes at the expense of consumer spending in other types of entertainment; and,

WHEREAS, the overwhelming evidence from the academic research on stadium subsidies shows they do not produce net positive returns for states and localities; now,

WHEREAS, subsidies are given to lure a professional sports team or to prevent a team from moving from one state to another state; and

WHEREAS, that teams will force states and cities to bid against each other, costing residents hundreds of millions of dollars

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [insert state] is opposed to government ownership, financing, and spending of and for professional sports stadiums; and,

Therefore, be it further resolved that state shall adopt the following interstate compact to prevent the public financing of professional sports stadiums and facilities

Article I

Purpose

The purpose of this compact is to prevent the use of taxpayer dollars for private professional sports stadiums and facilities by removing the ability of teams to use the threat of relocation to use taxpayer dollars to build their stadiums.

Article II

Effective date

This compact shall become effective immediately as to when twenty-four other states have ratified it and given consent thereto. The satisfaction of this requirement shall be determined by the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall notify the legislature when the requisite number of states have adopted a substantially similar measure.

Article III

Prevention of State Funds

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, no moneys held in the state’s general revenue fund shall be expended or appropriated, nor shall a subsidy given for the construction, maintenance, promotion, or operation of a professional sports stadium.

Article IV

Prevention of Local Funds

Upon the effective date of this  compact, no political subdivisions of this state shall expend or appropriate public funds, nor provide a subsidy, for the construction, maintenance, promotion, or operation of a professional sports stadium.

Article V

Previous Commitments

Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to amend or breach any existing contract or

inhibit bond financing and payment for any project approved prior to the effective date of this act.

Article VI

Nothing in this section shall prevent a state or political subdivision of the state from building and charging reasonable fees for infrastructure related to a professional sports stadium, including but not limited to, sewer, electricity, and transportation.