As a life-long fan I am thrilled to see the Atlanta Falcons succeed on the football field, but that is no reason for taxpayers to subsidize a new stadium. Most importantly, study after study finds that sports stadiums rarely offer taxpayers a positive return on investment in terms of economic impact. If anything, entertainment spending is simply shifted from other activities.
They have been playing football in the same stadium at Georgia Tech since 1913 and at the University of Georgia since 1929 thanks to continuous renovations. The Georgia Dome was completed in 1992. What does it say to the taxpayers who subsidized the $214 million investment in the Dome if it is demolished and another $300 million in public funds are obligated for a new stadium?
Limited government means prioritizing government spending on core government functions – subsidizing private entertainment doesn’t quite make the cut. Lowering taxes, reducing traffic congestion, addressing crime and K-12 education would have far more economic impact to Atlanta than picking one form of entertainment to subsidize.
Georgia Public Policy Foundation