I have argued many times that publicly-funded stadiums are a huge part of sports profits and team valuations. For example, here in Glendale AZ, the town's stadium subsidies represent over a third of the value of the Cardinals and almost 200% of the value of the Coyotes.
As some of you may know, the NBA is heading into a protracted labor negotiation, with both parties acknowledging that the economics of the game have turned against owners. Henry Abbot at ESPN argues that a large part of that economic change has been increasing taxpayer reluctance to subsidize sweetheart stadium deals for teams
Public money for stadiums has become scarce, and I have to believe that's part of the owners' pleas for financial relief from players. Huge moneymaking buildings for free or cheap have been no small part of what makes owning a team a no-brainer. Now teams in need of stadiums -- like the Kings and whatever team may one day relocate to Seattle -- face tough economics. Getting either deal done requires some kind of miracle. And in that context, if you ever fantasized about a world where taxpayers didn't contribute so much to buildings -- even if it meant players earned a little less -- well, your time is now.
To his latter point, I hope he is right.