The Math Does Not Work for Nevada Taxpayers.
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Calling Balls and Strikes: Myths and Facts
Investing public money into a new stadium for the Oakland A’s will bring in new revenue for the state.
Study after study has shown that publicly financed stadiums do not boost local economies. In fact, they regularly have a negative effect on local businesses.
Public financing for stadiums is usually a drag on local economies, but Las Vegas is different.
According to J.C. Bradbury, a sports economist at Kennesaw State University, “People will always say, ‘Oh, but this one is different.’ Every single stadium deal I’ve ever looked at the people who are supporting this say, ‘This one will be different.’ And when we look at it 15 to 20 years later, it’s exactly the same as they always are,” he said. “There’s always an excuse, and the reason is that there’s a lot of money to be made by getting this stadium funded. And so the owner is going to benefit tremendously.”
The publicly funded Raiders stadium over-performed projections and the publicly funded Oakland A’s stadium will too.
The backers of the Raiders stadium promised 18,000 jobs, but resulted in only the equivalent of 2,719 full-time jobs. Clearly, the actual jobs created by the Raiders stadium were nowhere near the rosy projections presented and we have no reason to believe that the smaller stadium proposed by the Oakland A’s will be any better.
Another publicly funded stadium will help diversify our economy.
According to a 2017 article published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, one economist noted “that a baseball team (with 81 regular-season home games per year) ‘has about the same impact on a community as a midsize department store.’” The equivalent of one department store will not dramatically transform our economy, especially when stadiums fill the same boom and bust niche as all the other tourist attractions in Las Vegas.
What’s the game plan? What we do now?
This means that Nevada voters still have a chance to make their voices heard. If enough signatures are gathered (102,586 to be exact), the citizens of Nevada can place an initiative and/or referendum on the ballot. Depending on the language of either the referendum and/or the initiative, both would allow the voters of Nevada to decide whether they want to give nearly $400 million dollars of taxpayer money to build a baseball stadium for a California billionaire.
One organization, Schools Over Stadiums, has stepped up to lead this effort. This group is comprised and led by Nevada educators who are tired of seeing our schools consistently funded at some of the lowest levels in the nation, along with the largest class sizes in the country, while Nevada politicians are handing millions of dollars in public funds to out-of-state billionaires. Their goal is simple: pursuing every possible path to stop the use of public funds to subsidize a billionaire’s stadium and making clear that $380 million should go to schools and not stadiums.
Schools Over Stadiums is collecting funds in order to pursue all options for reversing SB1, from challenging the law in court to putting an initiative and/or referendum on the ballot.
During the Regular and Special Sessions, I was among the most vocal opponents of this giveaway of public funds for a stadium. Whether it’s from my classroom in Reno or from the Legislature in Carson City, I have seen up close how misguided Nevada’s priorities have become. Bills for universal pre-k, school lunches and class size reduction are “too expensive,” but somehow, a publicly funded stadium isn’t. As an elected official, I believe it is my duty to carefully guard the public money of this state and ensure it is invested in ways that will improve the lives of our citizens. That is why I will never support giving away millions of dollars of your money to a billionaire when that money could be invested where it is actually needed – in our schools and our community, helping our citizens to thrive.
As a school teacher and Assemblymember, I am in full support of the efforts of Schools Over Stadiums. We must all stand up and demand our priorities be refocused. Please consider supporting this effort and help us steer our priorities back in the right direction – on our schools, our kids, and our community.
The most important thing you can do right now is to support Schools Over Stadiums. They are currently fundraising to ensure they have the means necessary to challenge this disastrous and misguided law in court and collect enough signatures to put it on the ballot so Nevada’s can decide where they want their tax dollars going.
As we get closer to the next election, Schools Over Stadiums will certainly need help collecting signatures and then helping spread the word about the ballot initiative/referendum. Be sure to check back here frequently for updates and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed!
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