A bill proposing federal funding not go towards the building of sports teams is gaining interest since the National Anthem protests by athletes has gained steam.
The legislation was introduced by Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford and Democrat New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker last June which would prevent teams from making use of “municipal bonds in relation to federal funding” to construct arenas and stadiums, the Daily Caller reported.
“The federal government is responsible for a lot of important functions, but financing sports stadiums for multi-million – sometimes billion – dollar franchises is definitely not one of them,” Lankford said at the time.
“Professional sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenue,” Booker added. “There’s no reason why we should give these multimillion-dollar businesses a federal tax break to build new stadiums. It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, especially when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits.”
A similar piece of legislation was introduced in the House in March by Republican Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell.
A spokesman for Sen. Lankford told the Caller that interest in the legislation has increased in the past four weeks as anthem protests have taken center stage at NFL games.
The Caller reported that 36 teams have taken advantage of such funding in the past 17 years to build or renovate arenas at a cost of $3.2 billion dollars, according to the Brookings Institute.
The Journal of Economic Perspectives revealed that “there is no statistically significant positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development.”
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