Two of the stadiums hosting the 2022-23 College Football Playoffs were built with hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies.
Even some football fans are booing taxpayer-funded stadiums.
This season’s NCAA Championship and Cotton Bowl venues received more than $1 billion in public funding combined for their construction, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer database.
Hard Rock Stadium ($0 in public funding), home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, will host the Orange Bowl on Dec. 1.
- AT&T Stadium ($444 million in public funding), home of the Dallas Cowboys, will host the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.
- Lucas Oil Stadium ($720 million in public funding), home of the Indianapolis Colts, will host the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 10.
Public funding of professional sports stadiums has been criticized as a poor use of taxpayer money by football analysts and economists alike.
- “Publicly funding stadiums for billionaires is a scam,” argued SB Nation’s James Dator last year, citing a 1997 book on the subject by economics professors Andrew Zimbalist and Roger G. Noll.
Meanwhile, college football teams’ use of NFL stadiums amounts to one more hidden government subsidy of U.S. higher education.
- According to experts, federal student aid has helped fuel rapid tuition inflation at U.S. colleges and universities, some of which boast endowments of tens of billions of dollars.
- It won’t help that President Joe Biden last month extended student loan debt repayments into a third year.
- The Supreme Court will decide whether Biden can also cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for illegible borrowers.