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Speier, Blumenauer, Beyer Introduce Bill to End Tax-Free Status of Stadium Bonds for Professional Sports Stadiums

Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and member of the Oversight Committee; Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), member of the Ways and Means Committee; and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, co-led the introduction of the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act of 2022, which would end the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds that are used to finance professional sports stadiums. Since 2000, subsidies for financing professional sports stadiums have cost taxpayers $4.3 billion despite the billions of dollars in profits that NFL clubs and other professional sports team owners reap each year.

“The NFL has proven once again that it can’t play by the rules. As such, taxpayers-subsidized municipal bonds should no longer be a reward for the Washington Commanders and other teams that continue to operate workplaces that are dens of sexual harassment and sexual abuse,” Rep. Speier said. “There is no reason why these teams—the average of which went up in value to $3.48 billion in 2021, according to Forbes—should have American taxpayers footing any of their bills. It doesn’t make economic sense, and it’s particularly galling given the league’s longstanding failure to address issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as on-going racial and gender discrimination and domestic violence.”

“This issue comes down to communities being held hostage. The NFL and these other sports leagues are a money-making machine that are rich enough to build their own facilities, and we don’t need to divert much-needed public funding to these projects. Let’s instead focus on spending our tax dollars on creating communities where all of our families can thrive,” Rep. Blumenauer said.

“Super-rich sports team owners like Dan Snyder do not need federal support to build their stadiums, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund them,” Rep. Beyer said. “Billionaire owners who need cash can borrow from the market like any other business. Arguments that stadiums boost job creation have been repeatedly discredited. In a time when there is a debate over whether the country can ‘afford’ investments in health care, child care, education, or fighting climate change, it is ridiculous to even contemplate such a radical misuse of publicly subsidized bonds.”

“Taxpayers should not be paying for multi-billion dollar stadiums on behalf of billionaires," said Earl Ash, Deputy Director, Public Policy for Sports Fans Coalition. "Sports Fans Coalition wholeheartedly supports the No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act. There is no reason why a Montana sports fan should have to fund a sports stadium two states away, let alone any taxpayer subsidize a stadium anywhere. We commend Representatives Speier (D CA-14) and Blumenauer (D OR-3) for their leadership and standing up for sports fans across the country."

For a copy of the bill text, click here.