On September 24, the Daily Caller published an article by Kerry Picket titled “National Anthem Protesters Put Pressure on Lawmakers to Defund Sports Arenas.” According to this article, in the past seventeen years 36 sports stadiums have been built or renovated by federally tax exempted bonds. The Brookings Institute claims this has cost the federal government 3.2 billion dollars in lost revenue. It is time to end NFL Subsidies.
This article outraged me. Even though NFL, MLB, and NBA franchises make tens of millions of dollars every year, teams are constantly threatening to relocate unless cities provide funds to pay for new stadiums or renovations. In the case of the NFL, 13 franchises have benefited from federal subsidies since 2000. The federal tax payer is subsidizing the NFL, and the owners do not even require players to stand for the National Anthem. Obviously, the NFL shows no gratitude to the American tax payer or even its own fans.
I have been boycotting the NFL for over a year but I wanted to do more. Since I live in Arkansas, I decided to call the office of Senator Tom Cotton. I did not know the name of the bill discussed in this article, so I didn’t make much headway with Senator Cotton’s aide. The next day, I had a chance encounter with an aide for Representative John Ratcliff from Texas. Unfortunately, it was the same story as the day before. We would like to help you, but we are unfamiliar with the bill you are referring to.
After this encounter, I was a little bit disappointed, but I was not about to give up. I decided to call the office of Oklahoma Representative Steve Russell who was named in the article as a bill sponsor. Finally, I found an aide that was extremely helpful. The aide for Representative Russell gave me all the information that I needed to move forward.
The bill sponsored by Representative Russell is H.R 811 (No tax subsidies for stadium act). This bill was sent to the Ways and Means committee. The chairman of this committee is Representative Kevin Brady form Texas. The number for Representative Brady’s Washington DC office is 202-225-4901. There is a companion bill in the U.S SenateS1342 (Eliminate federal tax subsidies act of 2017). This bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Corey Booker from New Jersey and cosponsored by Oklahoma Republican Senator James Langford. This bill was sent to the Senate Finance Committee which is chaired by Orin Hatch. The number for the Washington DC office of Chairmen Hatch is 202-224-5251.
Sports stadiums should not be subsidized by the federal government. All concerned citizens should call their Senators and Representative. Concerned citizens should also call the offices of Chairman Brady and Chairman Hatch and demand these bills get out of committee. We can make America better by being proactive citizens.