CCAGW Urges Nevada Senate to Oppose SB 509 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Nevada Senate to Oppose SB 509

State Action

May 31, 2023

Nevada Senate
Nevada State Capitol
101 N Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the 12,443 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste in Nevada, I urge you to oppose SB 509, which would grant $380 million in public subsidies and tax breaks for the construction of a stadium for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB) in Las Vegas.

SB 509 states that the new MLB stadium is “in the public interest” and would be “beneficial to the public welfare.”  However, other cities’ experience with stadium subsidies suggest otherwise.

As noted in Citizens Against Government Waste’s March 2023 issue brief “Fields of Failure: The Scandal of Taxpayer Funded Stadiums,” public subsidies for professional sports arenas always end in failure.  Contrary to the claims of proponents, publicly funded stadiums rarely, if ever, generate significant economic growth to justify the expenditure of taxpayer money.  In fact, economists overwhelmingly agree that stadium subsidies generate little to no positive economic on local communities.  Instead, they leave taxpayers on the hook for costly projects while shifting revenue from one part of a local community to another.

Assertions that a new stadium would create new opportunities for events also fall flat on closer inspection.  During the season, the stadium would host a maximum of 94 games, assuming the Athletics reached the World Series.  Outside of the baseball season, the stadium would be competing with a glut of other entertainment facilities already present in Las Vegas.  It is highly unlikely that an MLB stadium will provide new or unique opportunities for concerts and other events.

Taxpayers subsidization of an MLB stadium in Las Vegas will neither promote the public interest nor benefit the public welfare.  Again, I urge you to oppose this costly and economically harmful handout to the Oakland Athletics and MLB and vote against SB 509.

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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