MLB: public money is raining everywhere


At a time when the Rays’ shared custody project between Tampa Bay and Montreal is causing a lot of ink to flow, many are impatient to examine the possible financial package for a new stadium in the Quebec metropolis.

The plans of the promoters of the project are not yet known, but in the current model of major league baseball, public funds still constitute the bulk of the funding.

A tour of the 30 stadiums of the major leagues of baseball quickly makes it possible to draw up this observation. Of the lot, the legendary Fenway Park (Boston), Wrigley Field (Chicago) and Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles) come from a bygone era when 100% of funds came from the private sector.

To this short list is added only one recent stadium, the Oracle Park of the San Francisco Giants, which opened in 2000. It is the first and only stadium, since Dodger Stadium in 1962, to have been funded. entirely by the private sector.

Here again, the Giants nonetheless received a $ 10 million tax exemption from the city of San Francisco, in addition to an $ 80 million check for local infrastructure improvements.

Among the other buildings, the Busch Stadium of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Citi Field of the New York Mets are the only two that were built with a contribution from the private greater than that of the public sector.

Subsidized stadiums

In many forms, all other stages have benefited from major public sector participation.

Six teams in the Manfred circuit benefit from fully publicly funded facilities. They are the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals.

We still have to add eight teams (Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks) who saw their homes built. with a contribution of at least 70% from the public.

The debate in Montreal will certainly rage in the coming months.

In one corner, some will argue that the addition of a professional sports team can revitalize a neighborhood and generate spinoffs. In the other corner will be the opponents who prefer to see public money invested elsewhere and who will brandish economic studies to show that the economic benefits of professional sport are not so great.


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