For many decades, NFL owners have set up sweet financial deals for themselves with local governments at the expense of the taxpayer. There are now some signs this could be ending.The NFL is potentially facing a customer exhaustion. Many things contribute to it: NFL on TV all the time, ticket prices/rules increasing, the product on the field being bland and of course the politicization from sports media/players.
At one time, NFL owners could just say “Build me a new stadium or else we’re moving” and the city they were in would frantically put together a deal to help build the stadium with taxpayer money. These negotiations ultimately left the taxpayer out of having any say.
Things have changed throughout the years. People have access to websites like FieldofSchemes.com to see how awful these economic pacts were between the city and NFL teams. Add on that local governments are facing a financial crisis with their future promises on things like pensions being tremendously underfunded.
This story comes out of Cincinnati, Ohio and may be a glimpse of localities cutting ties with giving NFL teams taxpayers money:
CINCINNATI — County leaders might skip a $2.67 million payment to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hamilton County taxpayers are expected to pick up some of the tab for this season’s football game-day expenses at Paul Brown Stadium. The bill is due early next year.
The team’s 26-year stadium lease calls for county taxpayers to pay for game clean up and security at the stadium during the final nine years of the deal. The Bengals are supposed to start collecting that payment in early next year, to cover the current season.
But Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune told WCPO he has no plans of writing that check to the NFL team.
When asked if the Bengals are aware the county intends to ignore the request for payments, Portune said: “I think they know it’s coming.”
The Hamilton County administrator also did not include the payments in his proposed budget for 2018.
The game-day expense is just the latest stadium cost the team is able to unload onto county taxpayers, thanks to a generous and controversial stadium deal county commissioners agreed to 20 years ago.
Building the stadium cost taxpayers nearly $455 million. Since then, other expenses — a new scoreboard, paying down the interest on the project, and stadium maintenance — have continued to cost taxpayers millions.