Federal Tax Subsidies for Sports Stadiums

The US Federal government has provided $3.7B in tax subsidies for private sports stadiums, according to a Brookings Institute study. Major League Baseball and the National Football League received $2.9B with the NBA and the NHL receiving the rest.  New Yorkers were the biggest beneficiaries with subsidies for the Mets, Yankees, Nets and Islanders.  The stadiums were all financed through tax-free municipal bonds and the subsidies came from the tax revenue that would have been collected if the bonds were taxable.  The chart below breaks down the subsidies by sport and team within the sport:


In the Brookings Institute article the authors showed the data in a table and a stacked bar chart.  The table contained the subsidy for each team and the stacked bar aggregated the subsidy by league.  I chose the Marimekko chart as it captures all the data in one display.  You can see both the relative subsidy of each team (e.g., 4 teams garnered 60+% of the MLB subsidies) and each league’s share of the total subsidy.  I was able to make this chart with minimal data entry.  I copied the subsidy data from the web into Excel, added a column for league to each row, created a PivotTable, and generated the Mekko Graphics chart from the PivotTable.  Here is the chart in SlideShare to download and edit using our software: