It is so interesting to learn about the history of facility funding because of how many of these “mega stadiums” have been popping up around the country over the last 4-5 years, especially Cowboys stadium in Arlington. I believe that arenas can be used as way to improve a city’s economy but really should not be completely funded by the government, no matter what. When you think about it Professional sports is a “private good” USUALLY. The only ones who benefit from the team and new arenas are the team itself and the millionaire/billionaire owners who get to walk away with more money in their pockets, while taxpayers are stuck having to pay extra money from their income to cover the costs that come with a multimillion dollar arena or stadium. Public funding is something in my opinion that should never take place, because the government can use tax payers’ money to take care of things in the community that will actually produce a stable environment, whether that’s building more public libraries, or public buildings where corporations can come in and hire the townspeople, or whatever the case may be. I just have a hard time believing that a sports arena is something can be beneficial to everyone due to how quickly they become commercially obsolete. I think the Fully Loaded Private-Public partnership is a beneficial to everyone and is something that can help both our economy, and sports teams get the arenas they want. Corporations who are financially capable to make the investments into these stadiums are going to continue to do so because of the brand recognition that will come from it with having their names on the building and all over the place associated with that particular team.
Another characteristic that I believe should continue to be included in stadiums and arenas that are built should be the model that AT&T (Cowboys) Stadium has. You see that stadium being used for all sorts of things, sports and non-sports related. We have seen obviously the Cowboys play there every single year since it opened, but also College Football games, NCAA Final Fours, Boxing Matches, Concerts, Band Competitions, Conferences, all taking place. This allows the stadium to be “multi-purpose” and have more use and more of an impact for the community and the economy. The “arms race” between Universities and the Professional leagues has been an interesting one to watch over the past few seasons as more and more universities are looking to build/renovate stadiums. We all know that recruiting is the biggest factor when it comes to Universities, and they know the better the facilities they have the better players they get, the more the fans are willing to come out and use those facilities and the more money they make in return. However, we also see that universities do not have the leverage with the government and rarely ever get any kind of help funding these projects and therefor are left out looking for private investors to help pay the high costs the schools are left with to avoid being 2nd tier schools. We see more schools are becoming associated with corporations, like the KFC Yum! Center here in a Louisville, and they are leading to bigger and better facilities for teams on and off campuses. The NFL/NBA/MLB are always going to have the better facilities because when they do not get the proper funding from governments in one city, they always have the potential to pick up that team and move to another city, for example St. Louis Rams possibly being attracted by Los Angeles due to a lack of a new stadium/resigned lease in St. Louis. However, like Professor Hambrick pointed out in the lecture we will NEVER see a university leave town and head for a better city to get appropriate funding. I think that the government should be more involved in the College/University aspect of funding than professional because of the impact it can have on education and the improvement of education, but I know that is something that will probably never happen due to the fear of insignificant revenues. I think that when we take a look at the future of facility funding we will see more than ever, Corporations willing to fork over big bucks to have their name associated with sports. Like we saw in the lecture sports interest is at an all-time high and corporations are going to want a piece of that because of the revenue that could potentially come from that brand association. I also think more stadiums are going to be built with plans of using it as a multipurpose venue like Cowboys stadium, and that they will build as many amenities as they can to attract more usage from across the country. I think government funding will be less and less used due to the interest rates that will come from it, and the potential hit they could take if the economy takes a downward spiral again, and tax payers like me and you will rejoice not having a tax increase to pay for the latest and greatest arenas. I think we will see a lot of renovations coming to some of the oldest stadiums with too much tradition to tear down like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, etc. in order to stay away from becoming obsolete.