Campus News

Skimp sports

Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, wrote a piece for Forbes arguing that governments should not finance stadiums with public money.

Dorfman wrote that public financing for stadiums “is simply a subsidy to rich team owners and a few businesses that stand to benefit from the events held there.”

Using a hypothetical visitor to the Super Bowl, Dorfman argued against the claim that stadium visitors spending money at or around sporting events will provide enough economic activity to pay for the stadium. Dorfman wrote that “(t)his argument falls apart when you realize two key points: economic impact is not the same as tax revenue and when evaluating such events you must account for visitors’ budget constraints.”

Dorfman also said that “stadiums can only justify public financing if they will draw most attendees from a long distance on a regular basis. The Super Bowl does that, but the average city’s football, baseball, hockey or basketball team does not.”