Why New Stadiums Are Ruining Baseball And Taxpayers Are Paying For It

by Hank Coleman

Field of Schemes by Neil deMauseNew sports stadiums and arenas are popping up all over the country. And, they are ruining baseball. New stadiums are causing higher ticket prices and higher taxes as a result. The owners are adding to their profits through subsidies provided by local governments at a detriment to both sports fans and tax payers alike.

Are New Stadiums Ruining Baseball?

While most politicians and sports franchise owners will want fans to believe that a new stadium is in their best interest, will bring jobs to their area, will increase their stature, and a host of other promises, the reality is far from those promises. The truth of the matter is that new stadiums are rarely a good deal for citizens and fans in most cases.

In this episode of the Money Q&A podcast, “Your Money: Your Choices“, I interview Neil deMause who is an expert in the area of new sports stadium construction, their costs, and their lasting affects on the game and its citizens. He is also the author of the book, “Field of Schemes – How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit“.

On the podcast we not only talk about my favorite team in baseball, the Atlanta Braves, and their recent new stadium announcement, but we also talk about a host of other affects to teams building new stadiums. How much do government subsidies play into attracting new stadiums to an area? Is the skybox or the suite the cause of all this turmoil? Are professional athletes and their exorbitantly high priced salaries to blame?

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You may be surprised to hear what Neil has to say. But, more importantly, why should you care? In fact, you may also be surprised to learn just how much it will impact you, what you buy, the cost of sports tickets, salaries, new jobs, and the like. You won’t want to miss this very interesting conversation with such a national expert in the field.

Are Higher Ticket Prices In Our Future?

Politicians and sports franchise owners how would have much fans believe that new stadiums, the new arenas are a good thing. But, is that always the case? It seems like there’s two things in the future for Braves fans and residents of Cobb County. It’s going to be higher ticket prices and higher taxes for those poor souls in Cobb County.

So, I asked Neil deMause just that question. Here’s what he told me…

“You absolutely, generally wind up paying twice for new stadiums, once at tax day and once at the ticket office. Ticket prices invariable go up at new stadiums because that’s the whole point of them, is to sell more expensive tickets and in particular, you know, this is part of the trend of building smaller stadiums that you see in baseball,” said deMause.

“It’s not that they want a new place because the old… you know, traditionally in baseball especially, but in any sport, the idea was, ‘Oh, we’ve gotten really popular, we can’t fit people in our stadium anymore. We want more seats.’ That’s not what this latest round of stadiums is about. It has been about where, say we have too many seats, and it’s too easy to get tickets. What we want is to make it a scarcer commodity so that we can charge through the nose for them and have people lining up, you know in January, to buy tickets when they go on sale.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 575 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen Craig

It’s an extra special treat with my team, the Mets, and Citifield. You gotta love a new stadium from a company that received gov’t stimulus. Does that make it triple paying?

That said, Citifield is a much better family experience than their old stadium Shea was. And since the team hasn’t been doing well tickets have been relatively cheaper.

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Travis @debtchronicles

The Minnesota Twins just got a new stadium a few years back. Admittedly, it is a fantastic ball park. That being said, the reasoning as to why teams need a new stadium are absolutely ludicrous. We’re going through the same thing with the Vikings now. They’ve tried for years (and finally succeeded) to get a new stadium deal saying they don’t make enough money at the current stadium….the stadium itself is not the problem – it’s the contract they have with the stadium owners that makes it not as profitable for them!

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Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa

The public paying for stadiums to make the wealthy even more wealthy is ridiculous. There is way too much greed in sports these days.

I wish teams could all be set up like the Green Bay Packers. Then the public would be getting their money’s worth.

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