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Reminder: the public paying for ballparks almost always turns into a hot mess

Dec 18, 2013, 10:03 AM EST

Great American Ballpark Getty

We’ve mentioned the huge problems that public dollars paying for professional sports stadiums multiple times. In case you’re still agnostic on this point, however, there’s a great story at Bloomberg to help you out. It catalogs the awful results of multiple cities’ public ballpark problems. Cincinnati’s is particularly awesome:

The tax relief hasn’t materialized as pledged, said Todd Portune, a commissioner in Cincinnati’s Hamilton County. Instead, the county government is grappling with annual stadium expenses totaling at least $43 million this year, including debt service, county documents show. Residents have seen a public hospital sold, mass-transit investments postponed and little private development near the stadiums that didn’t involve additional public subsidies, Portune said.

Not that this will stop the next city to claim untold financial and economic benefits as a result of tax dollars funding an arena, stadium or ballpark. And not that it will stop the media from passing along such claims, mostly uncritically.

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