Football Incentives

I have football on the brain.  Last weekend was the highest scoring playoff weekend in NFL history.  The conference championship games are this weekend and I’ll be skipping regularly scheduled Sunday activities to sit in front of a television.  This always happens in January.

So it was with interest, and then frustration, that I read a story today about the Panthers and their stadium.  It turns out that the team has asked the city of Charlotte for $125 million for renovations to the stadium downtown.  And they’ve done so in a closed door meeting.

I love football, and I love seeing the Panthers play.  I’m glad they’re in Charlotte and I’d like for them to stay.  But I don’t love city or state incentives to lure businesses.  North Carolina cities, and the state as a whole, do this all the time.  It’s not effective over the longer term, and it’s a poor use of taxpayers’ money.

The first time round, the team largely financed the building of the stadium through selling season ticket rights.  I’d like to see them come up with more creative solutions for private financing, rather than depending on a tax increase.  They’ve done it before and I believe that they can do it again.

Julie Tisdale / City and County Policy Analyst

Julie Tisdale is City and County Policy Analyst at the John Locke Foundation. Before coming to the Locke Foundation as the research publications coordinator, she worked at the...

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