The Beacon Center of Tennessee is calling for a public referendum to allow taxpayers to vote on whether tax dollars should be used to build a new Major League Soccer stadium in Nashville.
Mayor Megan Barry has worked out a preliminary private-public deal to use tax dollars to help fund a stadium if Major League Soccer chooses Nashville for an expansion team.
The Beacon Center is a nonpartisan Nashville-based think tank that promotes the free market. The center is against Metro Nashville using tax dollars to fund the stadium but believes residents should make the decision, spokesman Mark Cunningham said in a news release Thursday. He said:
Research shows that using taxpayer money to fund a professional sports stadium is a terrible investment for taxpayers and is a prime example of government overreach. Nashville taxpayers should not be forced by politicians to fund millionaire franchise owners and developers. Time after time, stadiums, and specifically MLS stadiums, have proven to be big losers for taxpayers. We are tired of hearing politicians spout the same evidence-free lines on taxpayer-funded stadiums, that this is what the people of Nashville want. If Nashville politicians really believe that funding this stadium with tax dollars is what their constituents want, I’d like to see them put their money where their mouth is and put it up as a referendum.