Reality Check: Is Wall Street Journal Article On Paul Brown Stad - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Reality Check: Is Wall Street Journal Article On Paul Brown Stadium Accurate?

(FOX19) - The stadium deal Hamilton County made with the Bengals and the Reds may be a classic example why the "get something now, pay for it later model" leaves a costly legacy.

Here are the numbers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the reasons why Hamilton County's deal is so bad is because of how few people are shouldering the financial burden.

Out of the 23 NFL stadiums built or renovated between 1992 and 2010, only 2 involve a single county government willing to shoulder the debt burden.

The Journal claims that when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles got new fields in 2001 and 2003, the state of Pennsylvania picked up some of the tab.

When the Denver Broncos landed a new stadium in 2001, six counties carried the burden.

The Bengals issued a response to the article in which they say that it is not true that Hamilton County shoulders $1 billion dollars in debt without any help from the surrounding counties or the state.

The Bengals say fifteen percent of the costs of Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park were paid by the state of Ohio.

The Wall Street Journal article also makes this comparison.  In 2010, the Bengals Stadium cost to taxpayers was $34.6 million.  That is a sum equal to 16.4 percent of the entire county budget.

The Journal compared that number to four other stadiums that where financed in a similar way.

The Buffalo Bills, who renovated their stadium, cost taxpayers $3 million dollars in 2010.  They account for 0.2 percent of their county's budget.

The Tennessee Titans, at $5.2 million in 2010 account for 0.7 percent of their counties budget.

In St. Louis the Rams cost taxpayers $6 million for their stadium in 2010 alone, but that constitutes 1.2 percent of the county's budget.

And the Bucs in Tampa Bay cost taxpayers 14.9 million, which is under half what the Bengals are costing taxpayers.  But their nearly 1.4 percent of their county's budget, 16 times less than our cost to budget ratio.

But the Bengals again point out, those numbers are skewed.  Why?  The Bengals say in 2010 the county spent 37 million dollars in operating costs but that wasn't just for Paul Brown Stadium.  It was for the stadium and for Great American Ball Park.  So the comparison to those other stadiums is apples to oranges.

Here's what you need to know.

With the situation happening economically around the country you can't blame the Bengals for all of the county's money problems.  But,  how bad was this deal?

The Journal says forget the new HD screen, taxpayers are also on the hook for all kinds of future bells and whistles.  Some that haven't even been invented yet.

At some point taxpayers have also agreed to pay for a holograph replay machine.

Again, the Bengals point out many NFL teams have the same agreement.  In St. Louis, not only do they get bells and whistle but taxpayers are required to make sure their bells are among the 'top' twenty-five percent (25%) of all NFL football stadiums and NFL football facilities.

And that is Reality Check.

http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/Who-Dey-Perspective-Bengals-rebuttal-to-Wall-Street-Journal/ff819630-11b3-43b6-bade-15369dfe5cef

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216330349497852.html

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