Another Taxpayer-Financed Stadium/White Elephant

Most New Mexicans are abundantly aware that the Rio Rancho Star Center has quickly turned into a white elephant. The City of Rio Rancho recently took over management of the facility, in part because the Center has lost an astounding $580,000 since it opened in 2006 (this does not include the $36 million in bonds floated to finance the arena). Not to be outdone, Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez wants Albuquerque to build an arena of its own and is looking for a handout from Washington to do it.
As if to symbolize the waste that often results from investment in sports arenas and stadiums, it was reported today that the famous “Bird’s Nest” stadium where the Olympics were held is being abandoned and turned into a shopping complex. So much for China as a role model! Rather than wasting taxpayer money on centrally-planned boondoggles, arenas, like most other projects, should be built by the private sector when there is adequate demand. Otherwise, our governments will waste massive amounts of our tax money ($450 million in the case of the Bird’s Nest)

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