Win On The Field Get Taxpayers’ Money For Your Facility


That is the advice of experts.

Sometimes dead air is better than an expert talking. A newspaper article in the Chicago Tribune pointed out that the National Football League’s Chicago Bears’ ownership better get committed to putting a winning product on the field or public funding for a new stadium in Arlington Heights, or in Aurora, or in Chicago, or in Naperville, or in Richton Park or in Waukegan might not be available because the public might not want to spend municipal dollars for a stadium for a team that has problems winning. A television station in Cincinnati sent out the same message. Bengals’ owner Mike Brown better get serious and make sure his business has a very successful product on the field. Of course a winning team really has very little to do with a group of politicians deciding whether to invest public money into an arena or stadium. The NFL has scored big victories in western New York State and Nashville getting stadium public funding without worrying about the on-field success of the local teams. WCPO-TV in Cincinnati claimed “experts say how well the Bengals perform this season could impact how much taxpayers are willing to spend.”

The TV station did interview one of those experts. “I think if they’re playing well, you’ll see certainly a little bit more of an appetite for considering maybe a new stadium,” said Northern Kentucky University professor of sports business Joe Cobbs. “There’s going to be some type of investment on the part of the taxpayer, and it’s going to be much more scrutinized if the team is not playing well.” In 1996, Cincinnati and Hamilton County voters passed a ½% sales tax increase to fund the construction of two venues and MUGA pitch costings for the Major League Baseball’s Reds and the Bengals. In 1996, both teams were mediocre yet voters said yes.

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) motion for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an NFL division round football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)