More from D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute on the D.C. United soccer stadium plan: This week’s topic is Why would Washington be paying so much more toward a stadium than other cities have?
The public subsidies for 12 soccer stadiums across the nation have varied dramatically — from as little as $7 million in Kansas City to $247 million in Newark, NJ. But in most cases the public financing has fallen well below what the District offered earlier this summer.
Four of the stadiums received under $50 million in public funds.
The typical subsidy among the 12 cities is $77 million — or just half of what Mayor Gray proposes.
The numbers are all from Judith Grant Long’s data, and checking my copy of her book, I see that they’re adjusted for hidden lease subsidies — meaning that the D.C. deal will look even worse if the District has to kick in more for that profit guarantee.
The proposed D.C. stadium is also way more expensive than most other MLS facilities — in fact, at $290 million, it would be the most expensive soccer-only stadium in U.S. history. But unless building pricier digs somehow increases the spending power of D.C. United’s fans, DCFPI is right in noting, “There is little explanation as to why the District would offer so much.” Mayor Gray, your answer as to why the city should put up all this money for a stadium instead of housing or schools?
“Let me make one thing clear… this is not to the exclusion of those investments.”
Got that? According to its mayor, the District of Columbia doesn’t need any more money for housing or schools. Or maybe D.C. has figured out a way to spend the same money twice, without, you know, getting arrested? Either way, everybody please form an orderly line for your share.