stadiums

The Super Bowl Will Be Played in the Most Expensive Stadium Ever Built. Taxpayers Didn't Pay a Dime.

Meanwhile, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are in a bidding war to decide which taxpayers will have the chance to pay for the Washington Commanders' new stadium. It shouldn't be this way.

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SoFi Stadium, Southern California's glittering new sports cathedral with its sweeping glass-and-steel lattice roof, is about to become one of America's most well-known athletic venues.

On Sunday night, SoFi Stadium will host its first (but certainly not its last) Super Bowl, when the hometown Los Angeles Rams square off against the surprising Cincinnati Bengals for the National Football League's championship. College football's national championship game will be played there next year. The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics are scheduled to take place there, along with the event's track and field and archery competitions. And it's highly likely that SoFi will host some of the most important games during the 2026 World Cup.

But the most remarkable thing about the stadium, which opened in September 2020, isn't its very-SoCal design elements or the packed schedule of high-profile events to be held there.

It's that the billion-dollar stadium was built without public subsidies. In terms of public policy, SoFi Stadium might be one of the most important stadiums in American history—a venue that points toward a future where billionaires who love sports, rather than taxpayers, serve as patrons of professional athletics rather than rent-seekers.

The man behind SoFi Stadium is Rams' owner Stan Kroenke, who brought the team back to L.A. after it had spent 21 seasons in St. Louis, Missouri. While there, the Rams played in the soulless Edward Jones Dome, which was originally built with $280 million in public funds—some of which the city is still paying off, despite no longer having a team.

The Rams new stadium in Inglewood—which they share with the Los Angeles Chargers, who pay rent to Kroenke to use the facility—is part of a complex that includes a concert hall, shopping center, office buildings, condos, a luxury hotel, and a 25-acre park. The entire footprint of the site is three times larger than Disneyland, with estimated total construction costs reportedly near $5 billion—making it the most expensive stadium ever built.

There's some cronyism at play, of course. The city of Inglewood is allowing Kroenke to pocket some of the sales taxes from purchases made in the stadium complex, a kickback that's worth an estimated $180 million, to pay for infrastructure and an internal bus transit system. You could also argue, as Stanford University economist and frequent stadium critic Roger Noll has, that other possible uses for the nearly 300-acre site might have been more productive. But one of the great things about the stadium being privately funded is that those opportunity costs are borne by Kroenke, his fellow investors, and the NFL—not by taxpayers. Overall, SoFi Stadium is "a really good deal" when compared to any other stadium built in America during the past three decades, Noll told The Washington Post in 2019.

New development always comes with tradeoffs, of course, and SoFi Stadium is no exception. Both the Los Angeles Times and Sports Illustrated published features this week about the impact the new stadium has had on the surrounding neighborhood. Property values are soaring in the area, which is great for homeowners but not so good for renters who are getting priced out. Other people make the standard complaints about game-day traffic and other changes that come with suddenly living in a more desirable place.

The SI piece, in particular, is a bit bizarre in how it frames itself as an investigation of "the true cost" of the stadium. Sure, there might be some negative tradeoffs—though it is not at all clear that the stadium is responsible for the sharply rising property values, as Field of Schemes blogger Neil deMause explains here—but the "true cost" of SoFi Stadium is significantly less than any stadium built with hundreds of millions of taxpayer subsidies.

Maybe I'm just being extra sensitive to that sort of thing right now because I'm a resident of Virginia, and my state lawmakers are reportedly readying a $1 billion package meant to lure the Washington Redskins Football Team Commanders from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. to the Virginia suburbs. It is "maybe the biggest NFL stadium subsidy proposal in history," according to deMause, who has made a career out of tracking these crony deals, though he notes that the details remain unclear for now.

If that deal comes to fruition, those costs will be borne by all residents of Virginia—including those who live hours away from Washington and those who have no interest in attending a Commies game. They won't see their property values increase or be able to take advantage of increased economic activity like the residents of Inglewood. They will only get costs, no benefits.

The city of Washington, D.C., is reportedly also preparing an offer that would presumably put the district's residents on the hook for a new football stadium too. This is a bidding war that taxpayers in the whole D.C. area should be hoping to lose.

Commanders' owner Dan Snyder is a multibillionaire, like Kroenke. If he wants a new stadium for his vanity project football team, he should put up the money for it. In the meantime, city and state officials across the country should point to SoFi Stadium as evidence that there's no need for taxpayers to subsidize these projects.

NEXT: Sidney Powell Disowns Her Kraken, Saying She Is Not Responsible for Her Phony Story of a Stolen Election

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  1. Washington Commanders should've been the Swamp Things.

    1. I pay so little attention to sportsball that I didn't even know they had a new name. I do like Eric's nickname for them. I like your name better; it would have been one heck of a memorable name, politics be damned.

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    2. They should have gone with Formerly Known as Redskins abbreviated as FKRs. Would have been hilarious if they still played in RFK stadium.

      1. I prefer " FPC"
        "Fuck Political Correctness"

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    3. Still gonna call them the Redskins, but "Commies" is just too good to let go.

      1. So as not to discriminate I had suggested the new logo should be a circle divided into 4 quadrants, one black, one yellow, one red and one white. Then the name could be the "Washington Fourskins". Kind of sticks with the original name idea, and represents Washington DC quite literally.

        1. They should have kept the name, Redskins, and made the logo a potato.

          1. Interesting how the descendants of White Europeans in the US want to ERASE any trace of civilization in the US that doesnt adhere to their POLITICAL idealogy.

            Thats called Ethenic Cleansing and is bad when the Leftopaths see others doing it.

          2. a very angry brian stelter

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    4. Commandos would have sounded better, would have sounded cooler, not sure if they considered using that name or if there was some trademark issue.

    5. Washington Cronies.

    6. Shirley the proper name would be The Washington Stealers

  2. OBL, can you please explain to me how Reason's Boehm the Birdbrain became a billionaire ass-kisser? Talk about being a suck-up for billionaires....I thought he worshipped only Koch. Did Kroenke get added to his worship list or something?

  3. $180 M of diverted tax revenue is more then a dime.

    1. Of course a bootlicker like yourself would cry about the monopoly of force not getting their full theft cut.

      1. This is money coming out of the pockets of taxpayers mandated by law, but instead of going to the government it goes to a private company. Even if you hate taxes with a passion, you should be against this.

        1. Not really.

        2. I live near Pittsburgh. Heinz Field, PNC Park and the PPG Arena are the sports centers of the area. Three River Stadium still had debt on it when it was torn down in 2000. It was built in 1970. Right now the City of Pittsburgh gets a 5% tax on all of the tickets sold. The City also gets a 40% parking tax for every space used. From all of the venues in Pittsburgh, it averages 12 to 15 million dollars a year. The Sports and Exhibition Authority gets all revenue from food and drink sales. The Teams get none. Kroenke built the stadium without government funds, but, those Governments STILL GET THE TAXES from the stadium. The thing is that Kroenke has to make the stadium pay to recoup his investment. If he does that the Governments make money as well for doing absolutely NOTHING.

  4. So the Redskins was racist, but the designation of the commander of every slave ship ever is not?

    1. Yes. "Commander" is generic. No one says a Navy O-5 is a racist rank name.

    2. "Dictators" was a bit too revealing. For now.

  5. This is the best and most hopeful opportunity ever presented. Start a petition to retrocede as much of Washington County as possible to Maryland on the provision that the new stadium will be built there producing massive jobs in the county. Side benefit, D.C. is a smaller and more manageable place that doesn't have a football stadium but can claim the whiny bitches nearby.

    1. By whiny bitches, I mean football fans who don't have a life outside of a stupid oblong ball other people play with.

      1. Thank You

        Thats another Opiate Crisis...Opiate of the Masses

    2. Oh please no. We can't afford another dead beat city like Baltimore.

  6. If Stan Kroenke had a rusty farm implement impaled 2 meters up his asshole yesterday, it wouldn't be too soon.

    1. Shove a tape measure up his ass, pull it out his mouth and see how tall he is?

      Rusty also we presume.

  7. Hey reason. Kind of a story of cops moving in on protestors in Canada you may want to check out.

    https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2022/02/12/surreal-scene-police-moving-in-on-protesters-at-the-ambassador-bridge/

    1. I checked Sanders, AOCs Twitter threads, Jacobin and Democracy Now. Nothing nothing nothing. Nothing on potential war in Ukraine. Nothing on Truckers protests. Nothing on banks freezing their assets. Nothing on the leftist Mexican government killing journalists who uncover leftists “not so equal” lifestyles. Nothing on black people being murdered on city streets.

      Democracy Now headline was “Joe Rogan paid to spread misinformation and hate’. The rest of the stuff was about racism, white supremacy and Covid.

      A Democrat strategist stated “ Democrats should be prepared for a new Covid variant this fall”.

      Covid Climate Racism

  8. This completely ignores how Stan Kroenke made his money in the first place - basically TIF scheme in the state of Missouri

    Which he then abandoned so he could become a modern day Jed Clampett

  9. "where billionaires who love sports, rather than taxpayers,"

    Billionaires who love sports aren't taxpayers? That's not right. Billionaires should be subjected to taxation whether they love sports or not.

  10. Not the first, and somewhat amazingly, SF was in the vanguard.
    AT&T ballpark was built on land 'donated' by the city, but at zero cost to the city, and it's not hard to argue that the city (and the taxpayers) got a good deal; that area has turned into a tax-generating bonanza.
    And then the Warriors went so far as to buy the land on which they built (with their own money) Chase Center Stadium.
    When the 49ers wanted a new playground, the SF voters said 'naaa..'. They got the suckers in Santa Clara to pay for it.

  11. Kronke's wealth has come from Walmart money, he being married to a Walmart heiress. Kronke bought real estate, built and rented the store fronts to Walmart. And whenever you see an empty, abandoned store front formally a Walmart, that leaves neighborhoods shattered you can thank Stan and family...

    1. 1 billion + +

      Wal Fart was NAFTA Chinese style.

      Fuck Wal Mart
      Fuck Joe Biden

      1. Where to shop if not a big box? Costco Target Kroger Safeway Giant Walmart. It interests me because it’s a very east coast leftist mantra to block big box stores. The prols are forced to buy from little places that are around 40-50 percent higher in price, weevils in flour pasta toilet paper, etc. The left complains about dollar stores too. They like 7-11s for some reason. How dare you shop and compare prices.

        1. Shop? Compare?

          HA !

          Its all rigged. No sales. No clipping coupons. A gas station owner in WA State once lowered prices. The City tried to stop it. Claiming traffic problems.

          1. Walmart was one of the greatest income advancements of the 20th or 21st century, saving families thousands of dollars a year. And because a gas station in WA, we need to let it all collapse.

            Can't make this up, people.

    2. What’s the solution government rations?

      1. collapse. Start over.

        Its pure govt aided and enforced monopoly.

    3. You can’t complain free markets (rich people) and then complain about lack of access to a free market at the same time. It’s irrational. It’s what Cuba is doing with “sanctions”.

      1. Complain about

    4. "...And whenever you see an empty, abandoned store front formally a Walmart, that leaves neighborhoods shattered you can thank Stan and family..."

      Care to explain that comment as other than envy?

      1. It's the thing that people on the right ought to be very concerned about. I have increasingly heard leftist, commie talking points coming from folks on the right. I get the appeal of Nationalist Populism- and certainly prefer it to globalist socialism- but one needs to be especially vigilant that chi-coms and other statists don't get control of the message. daveca's message reads perfectly like the type of person who would happily bring us Chinese crony capitalism if it was just sufficiently dressed in red white and blue.

  12. Right from the Democrat Play Book:

    "Russian forces and their proxies already control portions of Ukraine and frequent skirmish with government forces. The aim of Moscow’s intensifying hybrid campaign, Ukrainian officials say, is to weaken their country and sow panic, potentially provoking discontent and protests of the kind Russia fomented in eastern Ukraine in 2014 to justify its interventions there. U.S. and U.K. officials said last month they uncovered coup plots intended to install a puppet pro-Russian government."

    Or is the Democrat Playbook from the Communist Russia playbook?

    1. It’s from the fascist playbook called “The Great Reset”

      1. Vlads Bad Because Joe and the Ho will let him go.

    2. No they just try to win elections, which I understand is a great affront to you.

  13. $5 billion and no real A.C.? It could be rather warm in there when they kick off at 3:30 local time.

    1. hey Tony, is that a self - winding watch on your right wrist or are you just happy to see yourself?

  14. Still an incredible waste of money to spend on a structure that, outside Chinese hands, can't be anything but an eyesore. Betting a lot on Americans being face-suckered to men in tights playing with balls.

    I'm glad the article quickly gets into the details about how this is in fact partially funded by the collective, including actual taxes. No business, home, or park can be otherwise, and you don't have too be too philosophical about it as long as you realize that money is fungible.

  15. The best part about the Owner of the team owning the stadium? He will want to get every penny out of it and won't threaten to move the team in demand for a new stadium that isn't his.

    It happened when Paul Allen took over ownership of the Rose Garden in Portland. When Seattle lost the Sonics, people asked why Allen didn't just move the Blazers to his hometown. The answer was obvious. It would have been stupid to vacate a money making arena in Portland that he wholly owned.

    LA no longer has to worry about that team threatening to move in the name of public funds.

    Hell it would almost be worth subsidizing the 1st stadium and then giving it to the billionaires so they stop pulling that threatening to move crap.

  16. DAMN this comment software.

    Cant anyone keep it from jumping like an epileptic pissing on high voltage wires?

    Its mostly text for christ sake !!

    Speaking of, did people say " Im shocked" before electricity was discovered?

    PS know how to keep the BenGals out of your back yard?

    Put up a goal post.

    And cant forger
    ..Fuck Joe Bidet

    1. It's okay, just mash the keyboard.

  17. Best team won, and the Bengals QB ought to demand life-time medical benefits with the line he's got.

    1. Cincy didn't know they were playing the part of the Washington Generals.

  18. Meanwhile murder, theft and a mountain of crime are skyrocketing in LA and the surrounding communities. But that's o k we have a multibillion dollar stadium that is state of the art. The fall of Rome is just around the corner.

    1. Was there a point you wished to make? Didn't see it.

  19. Hey, who else remembers when anyone gave a shit about sportsball?

    -jcr

  20. Robert Kraft financed Gillette stadium 20 years ago.
    No gov't money

    Actually all major sports venues in Boston are in privately owned

    It is a practical impossibility to not have any gov't involvement in a large building in the city, but the people should never be paying to build a stadium, ever

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  22. Will this match be broadcast on TV, and can I follow it on the yacine tv appا?

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