Subsidies

Billions in Subsidies for Big Sporting-Goods Chains

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's have generous friends in high places

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When Bill Winkler opened his small archery shop, he was prepared to compete against businesses large and small – but not against a government-financed competitor.

"The day Bass Pro opened here in Bossier, the number of arrows I sold dropped off by 50 percent," says Winkler.

A Bass Pro Shop opened in Bossier City in 2005 after city officials promised to give the retailer $38 million to pay for the construction of the 106,000-square-foot store in this Red River community.

Such deals are commonplace.