Publicly-Funded Sports Stadiums Are a Bad Investment. Here’s Why

After 56 years in San Diego, the Chargers are packing up and heading to Los Angeles. For the next couple of years, the NFL team will play their games in the StubHub Center, their temporary home until their new, multi-billion-dollar stadium is completed in 2019.

Why are they moving? Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers’ current home in San Diego, is one of the oldest NFL stadiums in existence, and the team was in need of a new one. When team owners asked San Diego to contribute taxpayer funds to build a stadium, they declined and Los Angeles was more than happy to pay a sizable amount of the cost.

Unfortunately, this means that taxpayers in Los Angeles are going to end up paying for the stadium. Sure, it’ll be a nice attraction (though they already have the Los Angeles Rams), it won’t help improve necessities like education and public transit one bit.

If that’s the case, why do cities keep spending so hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on sports arenas? That’s what John Oliver of Last Week Tonight wanted to know. What he revealed (in typical John Oliver fashion, of course) might have you concerned with how your city spends your tax money.

The Oakland Raiders are likely going to move to Las Vegas in the next several years, thanks to the city’s willingness to shell out millions for a new stadium. While the Raiders are a great team and all, shouldn’t that money be used elsewhere?