Finally, a history of stadium subsidies in animated GIF form

As if I didn’t already love Deadspin, now they’ve gone and done it: They’ve turned Judith Grant Long’s stadium cost research into an animated GIF.

Visit Deadspin’s accompanying article for the full-sized version, plus a selection of conclusions drawn from it, including:

  • “These 186 stadiums cost $53.0 billion in 2012 dollars, of which $32.2 billion—or 61 percent—was publicly financed. That’s a shitload of taxpayer money.”
  • Public stadium subsidies really kicked off in the late 1950s, but then went crazy from 1991 through 2004, when “a whopping 78 stadiums—5.6 per year—were built or underwent major renovation. This came to a cost of $26.0 billion (61 percent public).”
  • Since then, according to Deadspin, private spending on stadiums has increased — though this may be an artifact of the chart only using Long’s figures through 2003, as since then hidden and back-end funding (which isn’t accounted for in most published figures) has soared. (I’m still waiting on my copy of Long’s book, so I can’t check what her figures are for those years.)
  • “Four of the five most expensive stadiums ever built [in inflation-adjusted dollars] have gone up since 2009.” The fifth? Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Yeah, that worked out well.

One comment on “Finally, a history of stadium subsidies in animated GIF form

  1. Best line of the article in revenue to the $2 bil Montreal paid for Olympic stadium:

    Expos fans, please tell me something about your team that isn’t super depressing.