Three members of Congress are looking to end tax breaks for sports teams looking to build new stadiums with the “No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act.”
On Tuesday, Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill that would immediately end subsides that sports franchises often receive when constructing new arenas in the cities they play in.
Many new stadiums have been built in the last 30 years using state taxes, so it isn’t a surprise that congressional representatives would look for ways to avoid taxpayers from footing the bill on billion-dollar facilities they don’t directly receive benefits from. However, it seems the bill is actually a bit of retribution for the recent scandals in the NFL.
‘No Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act’ could end stadium construction subsidies
In a statement from Spier, who is also a member of the House Oversight Committee, she specifically mentioned the sexual harassment scandal surrounding the Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder as the reason that leagues like the NFL and its teams are not deserving of tax assistance in building new stadiums.
“The NFL has proven once again that it can’t play by the rules. As such, taxpayers-subsidized municipal bonds should no longer be a reward for the Washington Commanders and other teams that continue to operate workplaces that are dens of sexual harassment and sexual abuse,” Speier said in the statement. “It doesn’t make economic sense, and it’s particularly galling given the league’s longstanding failure to address issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as ongoing racial and gender discrimination and domestic violence.”
The Commanders are planning to build a new stadium in the near future and their lease on the land of their current home FedEx Field expires after the 2027 season.
In October, Congress began an investigation into how the NFL handled the sexual abuse accusations that occurred within the Washington franchise — some more than 15 years ago. On Friday, the league announced that former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White would lead a new investigation into new allegations against the team and Snyder.