A Libertarian Example for How Stadiums Should be Funded

Image credit: Detroit City FC

Within the city of Detroit, a town called Hamtramck sits quietly. That is, until the Northern Guard (Detroit City FC’s supporter group) comes.

Detroit City Football Club, DCFC for short, was founded in 2012. They are a 4th division, semi-professional team in the National Premier Soccer League. In their first season the owners expected a few hundred fans at the most. Over 1,000 showed up, and it has been growing rapidly since. They even grew out of their old home, Cass Tech.

So how does the team have anything to do with libertarianism? Let’s look at their journey to their new home, Keyworth Stadium.

The owners knew they had to do something to expand the team. Cass Tech could no longer keep up with the growing demand the club has been seeing, so they began looking at other larger venues. Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck had all of the right answers, but was in horrible shape. One side of the stands were condemned, the press box was in need of renovation, and the field was subpar. Hamtramck Public Schools could not afford to renovate any part of the stadium, so DCFC took over.

DCFC owners used the state’s MILE (Michigan Invests Locally Exemption) Act, a crowdfunding law passed in 2013 that allows companies to accept loans from small investors (amounts from $250 to $10,000) provided they are Michigan residents. Federal law prohibits out of state investment from anyone without a high net worth. In order for the owners to have access to the money, they needed at least $400,000 invested, and have an ultimate goal of $750,000.

The club’s passionate supporters raised $741,250 to renovate Keyworth Stadium. Not a single tax dollar was spent. It was pure private investment. Days ago, St. Louis residents voted down a $60,000,000 proposal to build a stadium for what they hoped to be a new home for a Major League Soccer expansion team.

It is all too common to see tax payers fund millionaires’ stadiums. According to a Fox Sports article, “Over the last 20 years, the American public has spent more than $7 billion dollars to build or renovate NFL stadiums, taking on 46 percent of the total costs of those projects.”

It is time teams of all sports and financial positions use DCFC’s model to fund their stadiums, and for the federal government to get out of the way. Too often we have seen the taxpayer forced to give welfare to millionaires. Invest in your team by making the right decisions, don’t make someone pay for your endeavors.

Detroit City FC’s preseason starts at Saginaw Valley State University April 15 at 3:30 PM, and the regular season starts Friday May 12 vs the Milwaukee Torrent at 7:30 PM. All home games are streamed on their website (detcityfc.com)

Follow the team on Twitter and Facebook @DetroitCityFC.