NFL opposes U.S. Republican tax plan on stadium funding

NFL logo and set are seen at New York's Radio City Music Hall before the start of the 2013 NFL Draft
FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo and set are seen at New York's Radio City Music Hall before the start of the 2013 NFL Draft April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

November 7, 2017

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – The National Football League said on Tuesday it opposes a tax bill proposed by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans that could force teams to put up more of their own money to fund stadium construction.

Under the legislation unveiled last week, local governments could no longer fund the building or renovation of professional sports stadiums by issuing tax-exempt, public-purpose bonds, the sort of bonds typically used to fund schools, libraries and public transit.

According to the NFL, building new stadiums enhances economic development in cities that are home to the venues and federal tax breaks should be available.

“You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadiums,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told a conference call.

“These sorts of infrastructure projects have a long history and the benefits of them are obvious in many of our communities around the country, so we will continue to make our opposition known on that.”

President Donald Trump has called for an end to the subsidy, at least for the NFL, after some of its players angered the Republican president by kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial bias in the criminal justice system. His Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, also proposed ending the tax break for stadiums in 2015.

A report last year by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based social sciences research group, found that of the 45 major-league stadiums built or overhauled since 2000, 36 were at least partly funded by tax-exempt municipal bonds.

The NFL’s Oakland Raiders are expected to begin playing in Las Vegas in 2020 and construction on a new stadium is already underway. Lockhart refused to what, if any, impact the bill could have on the viability of the new stadium.

“That is a hypothetical at this point and we’d have to see how the final bill comes out,” he said.

“What gets proposed out of the writing committee from the party in control very often is not what is eventually signed into law, so we’ll have to see where that goes.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Dan Grebler)

  • The Liberal Russian Lie

    I would be interested in a 50 yard line seat, my bid is fi- dollas, any takers?

  • AtomicFury

    I’m all for the proposal. The NFL has been living high on the hog and we get their lack of loyalty to the fanbase as well as their anti-Americanism as a result.

    I’d like to spell out my two-word, eight-letter attitude, but it wouldn’t stay up for long. The letters “F” and “T” should suffice.

  • CCTexas

    Of course they are against the tax bill. They want you and I to spend our money for their little girl players who just love to turn around and tell us how much they hate and disrespect us. To H$(( with the NFL.

  • survivor50

    “NFL opposes U.S. Republican tax plan on stadium funding…”
    No SHIITE they don’t like it because…they don’t get FREE STADIUMS anymore !!! Who doesn’t want a FREE STADIUM ??? BTW… who do you think PAYS for those FREE STADIUMS ???
    Take a KNEE !!!

  • Section Ate

    So, then, it’s safe to say, @Chris m, that you oppose the GOP’s tax bill . . . right?

  • Section Ate

    Whoa! Hold the f _ _ k up! Stop! Freeze! This is purely retaliatory! This’ll never hold up in court! NEVER! The federal gov’t cannot dictate to states how they can raise revenue. Republicans ain’t s. Hit, folks. Republicans, I believed, once stood for states’ rights! Why’re republicans flippin’ da script, now?

    • survivor50

      It ain’t the FREAKIN’ STATES Grubber…it’s the TAXPAYERS nationwide paying for these KNEE – lers who want FREE STADIUMS !!!

      • Section Ate

        Wrong! The ONLY U.S. sports league enjoying tax breaks is the NHL!! The NFL, NBA, & MLB relinquished that when they secured huge TV/Cable & sponsorship deals years ago!! The voters decide if they get stadiums in the NFL.

        • RMCS Ret.

          It’s a bit more complicated than that. At the local level, the voters decide directly. At the state and federal level, indirectly through their elected representatives. It’s called a Representative Republic, not a Democracy and there’s a reason for it. The founding fathers, after investigating all the forms of government that were known decided that the Greek form of democracy was best, but needed some modification. End result a Representative Republic. Why? A pure democracy put all the power in the hands of whoever was in the majority. Clearly a bad thing if you happened to be a person in the minority, ala a Jew in Germany during and preceding WWII. pr a blond haired, blue eyed Swede in Central Africa. For the same reason they established the Electoral College, thus keeping the population centers from having total say. The founding fathers didn’t just dream this stuff up, they did their home work.

          • Section Ate

            Please, @RMCS Ret., explain the relevancy of your comment & its correlation amongst the NFL; “founding fathers;” Greece; Jews in Germany; blond haired, blue eyed Swedes in Central Africa;” & Electoral College. Identify the nexus, please.

          • RMCS Ret.

            I was explaining, in detail, why your comment “The voters decide if they get stadiums in the NFL” was partially off base. Pretty simple if you read and compared your comments and mine. Maybe it would have been better to simply say on the federal level your wrong. Sorry if I confused you, it was not my intention. Long winded I do tend to get on occasion. I need to work on that.
            I do feel that some things need more in depth evaluation than usually given though.

          • I. Forgot 2

            Please don’t feed the troll anymore. It just keeps barking foolishness everytime it gets fed.

          • AmericaFirst

            I understood your well written post completely. Lol, maybe you should include pictures next time for the slow ones…..or make it ryme like Dr. Seuss.

    • RMCS Ret.

      The proposal is to not allow localities to issue FEDERAL TAX EXEMPT bonds to fund the stadiums. Clearly under the purview of the Federal Government. The States and other local entities may still issue bonds that are tax exempt in the areas of jurisdiction. Many bonds are issued being tax exempt locally but not Federally.

  • gregg56

    I am completely done with the NFL!

    • Ken Jones

      For ever and ever….. Amen

  • gregg56

    You F***ers can kneel and disrespect the flag and the National Anthem, you seem to not like the people who paid for your stadiums telling you we are not going to do that anymore. Go Pound Sand!

    • Chris m

      Thank You, great statement, I agree totally!

    • Section Ate

      Hold up, @gregg56! You’re no longer for states’ rights, I see. What changed? This is purely retaliatory! This’ll never hold up in court! NEVER! The federal gov’t cannot dictate to states how they can raise revenue. Republicans ain’t s. Hit, folks. Republicans, I believed, once stood for states’ rights! Why’re republicans flippin’ da script, now?

      • RMCS Ret.

        If I remember my history correctly, it was the Democrat party of the Southern States that were in a hissy fit about states rights, one of which was the right to keep slaves, and seceded from the Union resulting in the Civil War. The Republican Party was born in 1854 in Jackson, MI as an anti-slavery party. Getting history correct is important, no matter what party you support. Now whether the aforementioned funding bill will hold up in court, I have not a clue. Courts are strange things to attempt to predict.

        • AmericaFirst

          Finally, someone else who knows the facts about the dem/rep history.

      • AmericaFirst

        So you think Trump’s doing this purely retalitory? Then what was Obama’s reason?

        • Section Ate

          Huh? What the heck are you talkin’ ’bout, @AmericaFirst? First of all, this is congress’ doing – – not DTrump. Secondly, Obama never issused a bill against any major pro sports league. Come back to reality, will ya?

          • s7rabin

            No. He (Obama) only did that with Obama Care,…. and illegal aliens.
            These NFL teams make a ton of money. Let them pay for any venue that produces this money.

          • AmericaFirst

            Wrong. Obama proposed this deleting this tax break in 2015, as noted on the article. And in the first place, I was responding to a post claiming Trump was only proposing this as retaliatory for the players kneeling. The fact that Obama proposed it 2 years ago proves that theory wrong.

          • Section Ate

            Two yrs ago is when the NFL rescinded on its own initiative ’cause it had signed multiple billion dollar deals (TV, sponsors, cable, internet, apparel, etc.) This is why many contracts are partially guaranteed today.

          • AmericaFirst

            None of which has ANYTHING to do with my initial comment. My post was in response to the ARTICLE claiming Trump was doing this because he was retaliating against the team owners, then admitting Obama had called for the same 2 years ago.

  • Brad Bunnell

    Well, how about the federal Judge who over turned the NFL in Zeke’s 6 game suspension? How did that happen? Asked by a fan?

    • Section Ate

      Zeke played the other day, @Brad Bunnell.

      • Ken Jones

        I have no idea. I don’t watch the NFL anymore.

        • Section Ate

          Please, @Ken Jones, explain why you felt the need to tell me you “don’t watch the NFL anymore.”

          • AmericaFirst

            Explain why you felt the need to tell @brad Bunnell that Zeke played the other day?

          • Section Ate

            Won’t answer, huh, lefty-loser-liberal?

          • AmericaFirst

            Whar are you talking about now. I’m far from a lefty or liberal. You should try rereading all my posts, only this time, try to comprehend them. You’d think my AmericaFirst moniker would have given you a clue.

          • Section Ate

            “AmericaFirst” still leaves you a left-losing-liberal.

  • Scott

    What wrong they are Democrats and Democrats say the RICH want to pay more taxes. Government needs to spend more money on illegals and Democrats like that like the NFL the National Felon League. Do bad for the NFL who cares they are SO rich they need to spread it around all that wealth. NFL is Democratic so taxes should FEEL good to them for the support Federal government to be bigger. This fake outrage because it was not created by Democrats that all. Poor NFL have lose so profits they do not care about profits just look at the protest and all the Fans do not like it but the NFL is run by liberals now so tax them.

  • Bud

    His Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, also proposed ending the tax break for stadiums in 2015.

    I’d almost be willing to bet that if asked today, Naked Emperor Obama would oppose ending the tax break. Just because Trump is for doing so.

  • Bud

    According to the NFL, building new stadiums enhances economic development

    From what I’ve read, it actually doesn’t.

    • gregg56

      Hard to make that case with all the empty seats.

  • Ron Brown

    lmfao you gotta be kidding me……. what nerve