John Oliver Explains How Wealthy Sports Teams Are Scamming Taxpayers


Every year, American cities across the country spend billions of dollar in public money in order to build shiny new sports stadiums we probably don’t need. As John Oliver explained on the latest Last Week Tonight, these stadiums are increasingly designed to look like “coked-up Willy Wonka” coliseums with expensive features like swimming pools and party cabanas.

“We don’t just help teams build stadiums, we let them keep virtually all the revenue those stadiums produce,” Oliver said on Sunday.

The segment goes onto show, stadium financing often hurts the local economy and surrounding businesses, even blocking cities from paying for crucial things like hospitals—all this as wealthy stadium owners only get richer with empty promises of economic growth.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have giant aquariums in ballparks full of terrified fish. Of course we should, this is America! If we don’t have them, no one else will! But we should not be using public money to pay for them.”

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.