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Should Bailed Out Banks Spend Millions on Sports Teams?

There's nothing surprising about companies sponsoring sports teams, but Bank of America may have gone too far. The bank, which has received $45 billion in taxpayer money, sponsored a five-day blowout called "NFL Experience" last week, and according to insiders the tents alone cost $800,000. ABC reports that in total, being the official bank of the NFL has put the bank (or taxpayer) back $10 million. Bank of America defended the sponsorship as part of its growth strategy.

Regardless, lawmakers have identified sports sponsorships as a problem. Last week Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ted Poe joined forces to ask Treasury Secretary Geithner to demand that CitiBank ends its $400 million contract with the New York Mets for naming rights to the team's stadium, now called CitiField.

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genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
If they're going to bail everyone out maybe they should start with the people who aren't making billions a year.
legalbeagle legalbeagle 7 years
This is idiotic. I hate this bailout more and more everyday. I dont understand why people arent more upset things like this are going on. So if the banks recieve Federal funding, and they provide these arenas, does that mean the teams are now pretty much controlled by the Federal government as well? Since when is it the Government's job to provide me with a place to tailgate and eat nacho cheese fries?
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I guess I have a hard time when people get up in arms before they fully vet a situation. We don't know what their return is on their investment in this kind of thing. Perhaps they get TONS of new customers because of sign up situations they have in these things. It does seem like a poor investment, but with out numbers I don't see how anyone can solidly make that judgement.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 7 years
Maybe this makes me a dorkfish, but I personally think that if they have $400 million to blow on a SuperBowl bash, they don't need $45 BILLION dollars in bailout money. This actually made me want to throw up a little.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Indianapolis would be a prime example of what a pro team can do for the downtown. In the late 70's the downtown area was dying. Businesses were racing from the area to the suburbs, and crime skyrocketed. After Indy acquired the Colts in '83, and Union Station was reopened as a quasi mall, people began coming back. Now, they have a thriving mall (Circle Center Mall) and at least 5 micro-breweries. It took a lot of work, but it woldn't have been as successful or done as quickly without having the Colts, even though they weren't winning until 98.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
If we have to bail out the sports teams, then we'll have to bail out the porn industry.
stephley stephley 7 years
I mentioned CATO was one of several studies that I knew of, not my only source. I've been reading about sports subsidies for several years, so I'm not sure what you think is new to me. I fear you're assuming things.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"We don't all need the security of clinging to one school of thought. " Well I'm sure glad you're opening your mind to new ideas. Especially ones from the CATO institute.
Katie-Kat398180 Katie-Kat398180 7 years
See? This is why the government shouldn't be involved in businesses in the first place. Understandably, these banks were going under and needed help from somewhere, but they should have realized that by accepting help from the government, they were going to be told what to do by the government. They no longer have the freedom to invest in a Sports team or other business venture without the government having some input. Have fun all you banks and businesses of America...do better this time around and consider this before accepting a hand out from the taxpayer again.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
Well I guess you COULD...but I wouldn't mean it!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
:cheer: I've been going to Candlestick since I was a kid. You couldn't pay me to call it by any other name!
clarabelle98 clarabelle98 7 years
Nope. I've said from the very beginning, if a company is in dire enough straights to require a bail-out, they need to fire teh CEO, CFO and all the higher up muckety mucks and start over fresh with someone that knows what the he** they're doing.
stephley stephley 7 years
We don't all need the security of clinging to one school of thought.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
Blue- you might find this interesting. I did On September 28, 2004, a new naming rights deal was signed with Monster Cable, a maker of cables for electronic equipment, and the stadium was renamed Monster Park. However, just over a month later, a measure passed in the November 2 election stipulated that the stadium name to revert back to Candlestick permanently after the contract with Monster expired in 2008.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
"More than anything is I hate the fact that these stadiums that I grew up with are now named after random companies! " I agree Ba...Candlestick will ALWAYS be Candlestick in my mind! And I'll never ever call it anything else. :raspberry:
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
Taxes hurt the economy? There's no way.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Hainan, I'm just trying to figure out who hijacked her account.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
"completely overlooking the destructive effects that higher taxes have on job growth" I find that statement ironic and humorous.
stephley stephley 7 years
There are a couple of studies, the CATO Institute, the National Taxpayer's Union - that seem to suggest that any benefit to a city would be equal to any entertainment spending (investing in theaters and restaurants). "Virtually every economic study of the issue has found that publicly funded stadiums are, at best, an inefficient investment of taxpayer dollars for the meager benefits produced and, at worst, massive payments to rich team owners and players at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. Much of the spending attracted by new stadiums simply is shifted from entertainment spending that already existed in other venues, such as theaters and restaurants. Furthermore, large portions of the subsidy leave the city in the pockets of owners and players who live in far-flung suburbs. And finally, proponents of publicly-funded stadiums often point to jobs "created" by stadiums while completely overlooking the destructive effects that higher taxes have on job growth and economic performance elsewhere in the regional economy."
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
And really, if it truly mattered where these banks spent their money, our lawmakers should have stipulated that in the bill. They wrote them a blank check. Now is not the time for outrage. If you don't like it you should have contacted you congressman and told them to vote against it. I did, and mine voted no. Now is not the time for Monday morning quarterbacking!
Myst Myst 7 years
In a lot of place, sports are the really reasons people come to towns. Like Gainesville for instance. Outside of University of Florida and because of the Gators, the town is literally dead town with absolutely no attraction except for the school. So in some case it do bring in some economy but not really much.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
SF put their baseball stadium in a really run down area and it has since been revitalized. The are there is now desirable to walk around in. There are many shops/restaurants that have opened up in the vicinity, it has been a huge boost to the SF economy especially since Candlestick (or 3com or monster park :oy: ) is unable to have that kind of atmosphere, due to it's location.
zeze zeze 7 years
Steph, I have no idea, I was basing that only on what I've seen. Maybe places like NY and Boston don't need sports to survive, speaking from personal experience, no one would ever go down to Detroit, pay parking, eat at a restaurant, visit the local shops, etc...if a Tigers game or Red Wings game didn't bring them there often enough. (I will not mention the Lions because anyone who still goes to see the Lions needs their head examined). Also, how have the studies you're referring to been measured? I mean it's not like the t-shirts or the tickets that bring money to the city, it is mostly the people that get business based on the traffic the games bring downtown.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 7 years
More than anything is I hate the fact that these stadiums that I grew up with are now named after random companies!
liliblu liliblu 7 years
Steph your comment reminded me of an article a friend showed several of us. So I looked around and found it. Stadiums Are Built On Federal Tax Break By Peter Whoriskey Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, July 28, 2003; Page A01 The recent wave of sports stadium and arena construction is costing the U.S. Treasury more than $100 million annually because the projects have been financed with tax-exempt bonds, a federally supported method of borrowing money more often used to build roads, schools and other public projects. The federal tax break for professional sports venues is rarely recognized in the fractious stadium debates across the country. At least 38 major league sports venues have been built or rebuilt using nearly $7 billion in tax-exempt financing since 1990, according to a Washington Post review of more than 40 professional baseball, football, hockey and basketball projects. The cost to the Treasury was calculated using the same methods employed by Treasury and congressional tax estimators. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54321-2003Jul27.html
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