Are You Ready for Some Taxpayer-Subsidized Nonprofit Sportsball?

With the NFL playoffs
underway and the BCS National Championship Game kicking off
tomorrow night, now seems like a perfect time to remind every
American just how screwed up the economics behind these games
actually are. 

Here is the original text from the Dec. 2, 2013 video:

Whether you like football or not – whether you’ve ever
bought a ticket to a high school, college, or NFL game – you’re
paying for it.

That’s one of the takeaways from The King of Sports:
Football’s Impact on America, Gregg Easterbrook’s fascinating new
book on the cultural, economic, and political impact of America’s
most popular and lucrative sport.

“The [state-supported] University of Maryland charges
each…undergraduate $400 a year to subsidize the football
program,” says Easterbrook, who notes that only a half-dozen or so
college teams are truly self-supporting. Even powerhouse programs
such as the University of Florida’s pull money from students and
taxpayers. “They do it,” he says, “because they can get away with

At the pro level, billionaire team owners such as Paul
Allen of the Seattle Seahawks and Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville
Jaguars benefit from publicly financed stadiums for which they pay
little or nothing while reaping all revenue. Easterbrook also talks
about how the lobbyists managed to get the NFL chartered as a
nonprofit by amending tax codes designed for chambers of commerce
and trade organizations.

As’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback columnist,
Easterbrook absolutely loves football but also isn’t slow to throw
penalty flags at the game he thinks is uniquely America. In fact,
he sees the hypocrisy at the center of the business of football as
“one of the ways that football synchs [with] American
culture….Everyone in football talks rock-ribbed conservatism,
self-reliance. Then their economic structure is subsidies and
guaranteed benefits. Isn’t that America?”

Easterbrook sat down with Reason’s Nick Gillespie to
discuss The King of Sports, how the business of football burns
taxpayers, and whether increased worries about brain injuries and
other problems spell eventual doom for the NFL and other levels of
Produced by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Meredith Bragg and

Runs about 8:45 minutes.

from Hit & Run

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