tv Ali Velshi on Target Al Jazeera August 27, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EDT
meet. check out our website, the address is www.aljazeera.com. that's www.aljazeera.com. velshi. "on target" tonight, money for nothing. how wealthy sports teams get away with building stadiums and making the taxpayer pay the bill and the 2016 race for president. american football fans are counting down the days until the nfl season kicks off. it begins two weeks from tomorrow, when the defending super bowl champs the new england
patriots host one of their favorite rivals, pittsburgh steelers. the fact is that in the past few years the nfl, the national basketball station and even football has seen a stadium bing and the taxpayers have been footing the bill. tonight we'll take a look at these deals the good and the bad. what is clear is the cost. the book public-private partnerships, have shown that a whopping $12 billion in public financing went to 51 stadiums. hidden subsidies, and lost property taxes that team owners forced cities to pick up when new stadiums are built. another thing that's clear is nfl owners are very skilled in pressuring cities into funding new stadiums by threatening to
leave town. the los angeles ram rams bolted for st. louis leaving the city without a team. threatening to move back to l.a. unless their cities come up with better stadiums. last month boston dropped a decades-long bid for summer olympic games in 2024. most of the estimated $4.6 billion cost of the games would have been covered by developers but taxpayers claim they would still be on the hook for $600 million. when the mayor failed to get the people to agree, the mayor dumped bid. things get more complicated when it comes to professional franchises. the teams and the owners insist
there's increased economic activity that comes with state-of-the-art stadiums. critics dispute that. they say taxpayers are giving away a lot of money for nothing. ali velshi reports. [ explosion ] >> blow up an old stadium build a newer bigger one costing $one $1 billion or more. it's a pattern among the nation's sports leagues. some say these stadiums especially reflect the success of the national football league or nfl whose total revenue since 1995 is $99.4 billion. but a large part of funding for most of these new stadiums comes not from the pro leagues like the nfl but from taxpayer dollars.
some critics see it as a form of corporate welfare. and what few people realize is that even after a stadium is blown up and no longer exists, taxpayer money is still being used to pay off the stadium's debt. the kingdome home to the mariners and the seahawks, is still being paid off. and giants stadium has an outstanding department of $266 million, which won't be paid off until 2025. and yet when it comes to football stadiums, cities keep building new giant facilities with state and local governments on average paying for 57% of all construction costs. that translates to over $6 billion taxpayer
dollars to build fancy football stadiums since 1995. take the u.s. bank stadium in minneapolis, minnesota. the total cost is slated to be $1.1 billion with sedate and local taxpayers shouldering almost 50%, or $498 million of the total costs. proponents of this new stadium say it will bring a much needed boost to minneapolis. >> already a billion dollars being constructed around the stadium, the economic people that stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores. that never would happen if you don't have this kind of facility available. >> but sports economist like depkin who studied the issue, come to a different conclusion. >> where the benefits outweigh
the costs of publicly built stadiums and generally find that the benefits don't outweigh the costs. these are not good for cities. >> that cost versus benefits debate goes tall way to 1999. then jenee jesse ventura had a conversation with red mccomb. >> i looked at red and said red away did you need to see me for? i'm sure a land owner is out there you can build a stadium. you don't need my approval. >> in favor of spending government money to build the new stadium. >> the public relations value and the day-to-day plugging of your city, you can't put a value on, because there's no other model or any other product to where you can get that.
but on sports you get it every day, the year round. so of course it's worth it. it's more than worth it. it is the best value in the world. >> ventura says he told mccombs if he wanted a new stadium he could raise ticket prices to pay for it. >> i looked at him and said red, let me tell you something. my wife the first lady of minnesota she doesn't give a rat's ass about viking football and there are a lot of others who don't care about it. you are telling me you can't charge your fans but can you go to the people and get the money to build the stadium? i said don't let the door hit you in the ass when you go out. >> it would take more than a decade and a half before the vikings got their new stadium with the taxpayers footing half the
bill. >> fortunately, the team owners had longer waiting time. they eventually got their stadium through. >> the real pressure though comes from yourself because it's your legacy. and any governor or high ranking elected official if a team does leave, well, that will be your legacy. the only good thing for jesse ventura was, i didn't give a damn because i'm not a career politician. i went there to serve and do the best job i could do for the people who elected me. and the nfl didn't elect me. >> the minnesota vikings new billion dollar u.s. bank stadium is scheduled to open in july of 2016. and given the life span of a new football stadium has dropped to
the pros and cons of using public money subsidies and tax breaks to build stadiums and arenas for professional sports team. governor scott walker signed a deal that commits his state to build a new arena for the milwaukee bucks. ali velshi has the story. >> it's being called a disastrous deal by some critics yet another example of corporate welfare. on august 12th, wisconsin governor and republican presidential candidate scott walker approved $250 million of public funding to build a new $500 million arena for milwaukee bucks basketball team. >> this is a deal where the people came together and said
this is not only good for milwaukee, the market region but the state of wisconsin. >> when $174 million of bond interest is factored in, that $250 million of public money could cost wisconsiners more than $400 million over the next 20 years. the announcement came after the bucs team owners threatened to leave the state if a deal couldn't be reached to use public money to fund construction of a new stadium. those owners include two billionaire hedge fund managers based in new york as well as scott walker's co-chairman on his presidential campaign. critics say the deal looks suspect and tarnishes walker's image as a fiscal conservative. back in 2011 walker claimed he could help balance the budget by taking away his public sector labor union's right to bargain. that move sparked protests by thousands of government employees who occupied the state
building. >> but he stood firm and he won. >> in the end, walker won his battle against the unions but his disapproval rating soared sparkinsparkingsparking a recall election. walker survived that recall becoming the only governor in american history ever to do so. and in turn he became a rising star in the republican party. so much so that on july 13th, walker decided to run for president. >> we are so honored to have you join with us here today as we official announce that we are running to serve as your president of the united states of america. >> but in july, walker also slashed funding for the university of wish b wisconsin 0 million, and increased state debt, to repair roads and bridges as wisconsin faces a projected $2.2 billion deficit. making it all the more
surprising that walker would put wisconsin taxpayers on the hook for $250 million for a new stadium. >> scott walker showed the path to victory is to run on our principles. >> meanwhile, according to roirtreports, several co-memberf the bucs organization contributed to walker campaign . metropolitan milwaukee chamber of commerce, says the arena is good for jobs, employing over 300,000 workers. tim would you agree the way this came together stinks? >> no, i would not. i think that's a total mischaracterization of the deal. in fact the legislation --
>> the nba is going to get $24 billion from tv from the nba in ten years. why is it the voters of wisconsin have to pony up $250 million to basketballers who don't even live in the state to build this new arena. >> in simple terms is legislation the governor introduced widely passed between republicans and democrats. and that $250 million in public financing, leverages $750 million in private sector investment. that is going to be catalytic. >> the harris bradley center what is this new arena going to do what the old one hasn't done? >> the new arena is going to drive about $500 million of
development around the arena in terminates of commercial space, residential housing and real estate. and you can pick up the paper literally every week in milwaukee and see a new piece of property that is being redeveloped or put online in concert with this document. so it's the way that it's being done -- >> but the studies of other roons and stadiums have said yes prices and values go up initially. on the long term housing prices and values drop because a lot of people decide they don't want to live near a basketball arena or football or baseball stadium. >> that's not true. in the heart of an urban market like ours we've had 25,000 people move downtown over the last decade and that's only going to increase if you look at the deals every week in the paper about new projects that are coming out of the ground. this is a place people want to live and again it'sing goods to be knit into the fabric of the
community and the governor had great leadership in starting this. >> but didn't you just give the argument, thousands of people are moving without the arena. maybe that money should be spent in other ways. i want to read to you what the federal bank of st. louis said, almost all economists and development specialists conclude that the rate of return a city or metropolitan area receives for its investment is generally below that of alternative projects. given that you have these experts who say there's not the return that could be found there other projects why go forward? >> certainly i respect the federal reserve bank's opinion but i don't have to deal or live in the world of experts. we've got to live in the world development. there are 30 markets in the world that have an nba team, milwaukee is one of them. we want to retain that asset, we think this is an
appropriate new investment in this asset and the state of wisconsin will gain over $400 million in revenue just off the income taxes of the players during the time of this new lease. so we think it does have a real return. >> in other words the team was threatening to leave milwaukee unless you guys helped them build this arena and yet this is a team that has not won an nba championship for something like what, 44 years? >> yeah, actually the nba is the one that put the stake in the ground, this not being an economic market without the new arena. hope springs eternal but we believe this is right ownership team with the right plan to bring a championship bark to milwaukee. but it's more than champions and bouncing basketballs. it is about creating an environment that is attractive to young diverse professionals that are going to help drive the talent that we really need to
with certain names like clinton, bush and trump. but consider this: according to the federal election commission the number of people who have filed a statement of candidacy if the fpc as a presidential candidate currently totals more than 850. and just in the last week when a poll propelled one fake candidate named de's nuts, the names include star trek captain jeanne-luk luc picard, there were other candidates already registered with names called sydney's volume voluptuous buttocks, and
limber-butt is a cat. >> hillary clinton thinks cats shouldn't be recognized as people. limber butt mccubbins knows cats are people. >> for the 2016 presidential race there are some real people who have registered as well. harley ran unsuccessfully for governor of idaho last year and participated in a debate. >> i don't like political correctness can i say, it sucks, it's bondage and i'm about as politically correct as your proverbial, turd in a punch bowl. >> yes he said turd in a punch bowl, robert mccloud is a veteran. >> better look out for me and mine. we're coming for you. >> you just don't know how much pride i have in my country. but the government i've got now is full of traitors and they've
been traitors for some time. >> tammy steinfield is running for president either as a performance artist or a pair thoid paranoid schizophrenic. >> entertaining stuff. but why is the federal trade commission having to waste time for this? a partnership to follow the campaign, dave welcome. why is it so easy for anybody to file with the fpc? >> first of all there's no filing fee. for zero dollars you can go on, fill out an online form, takes about 15, 20 minutes to do, lo and behold you're a presidential candidate. i've talked to the chairperson
ann ravel, asked her that question. why couldn't you put in a $25, $50 filing fee? they don't have that in the regulations now. she says it's probably not a bad idea from celebrating the wheat from the chaff. member butt mccubbins, trying to run for president of the united states. >> sydney voluptuous but tocks, does the fpc think it is funny? >> there are three different joe bidens who are running, even not the vice president of the united states. ghosts and cartoon characters and others -- >> go for it dave, you can say it!
>> i'm kidding. you go to the federal database and see it all, it's pretty colorful. there's a practical implication. it's a very cash strapped agency, they don't have a lot of staff, relatively small, they really don't want to be bothered with having to do what effectively is required of them when somebody files no matter who they are, cartoon character or otherwise. they've got to process and report, they've got to follow up if necessary, it is something another drain in a small way on their very, very limited time and resources. >> what does it stop them from following forwards, there's another filing fee for being listed on the ballot? >> if you don't have cash you don't have a campaign. it's pretty difficult even in predominant social media
attention, that you almost have to have to be a successful candidate in iowa, in new hampshire, all the other caucuses and primaries across the country. so when you are competing with the likes of the hillary clinton machine or the donald trump or jeb bush machine it's pretty difficult if you don't have two nickels to rub together, even what we're seeing right now. >> people filing fake flames or doing this just as ojoke? >> there's and outside chance they could get dinged. a fine or something could come down if they fill in incomplete or erroneous paperwork, which some folks have. even the department of justice could crack down if somebody had knowingly and willfully famtion falsified the reports. but the chances of that happening are probably next to none because very few of these
candidates as they are are going to raise any kind of money so it's really not a concern in terms of a lot of money being raised that would be used perhaps in an underhanded way. and most of these guys are joke comedic candidates in the first place. so the federal election commission, the department of justice they probably have some bigger fish to fry than these guys. >> indeed . dave leventhal, welcome to are al jazeera. >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the sound bites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. >> ray suarez hosts "inside story". only on al jazeera america.