Politicians love it when they can benefit from the emotional connection Americans have with our sports teams. Unfortunately, one of the ways they do that is by handing out subsidies and incentives to pro sports team stadiums, despite all the evidence that they’re usually a terrible deal for the community. As the CEA’s John Mozena wrote in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after an MLS team was announced there:
The reality is that while sports may loom large in our hearts, they’re a relatively tiny component of our economy and no argument for even nominal public financing of a stadium that relies on its supposed economic impact should be taken seriously.
However, that emotional connection we have to sports teams has politicians lining up to subsidize professional teams, despite the joke among those of us who follow these deals that tobacco companies have better research-backed evidence that cigarettes are good for us than professional sports leagues do to justify the economic benefits of public support for their stadiums.