A Louisiana state representative said Monday he would like to withdraw “millions of state tax dollars, tax exemptions and tax credits” from the New Orleans Saints. This comes after a number of NFL players took a knee during the national anthem before their Sunday games.

Many of our followers on social media questioned if state taxpayers here in Texas are footing the bill for the NFL.

So, are the Cowboys and Texans receiving state funding?

The answer is No, but your city and/or county may be. Sources of funding vary from team to team. But, taxpayers living near NFL stadiums likely saw their taxes increase while those stadiums were being built.

Where is the tax money going?

The money goes to funding the construction of new stadiums, operations and renovations.

Fox Sports reported the American public has spent more than $7 billion dollars to build or renovate NFL stadiums, taking on 46 percent of the total cost of the projects.

The NFL dropped its tax-exempt status in 2015. For 72 years, the NFL qualified for 72 years as a 501(c)(6) non-profit, the same given to business leagues, trade groups and organizations. The tax-exempt status applied only to the league office and not the individual teams.

How much is the public paying?

Dallas Cowboys

AT&T Stadium (City of Arlington/Tarrant County)

Opened in September 2009

Stadium Cost: $1.2 billion

Public funding sources:

  • 0.5% City sales tax increase
  • 2.0% City hotel tax increase
  • 5.0% City car rental increase
  • 10% Admissions tax
  • $3 Parking tax
  • $25 million county contribution.

The city of Arlington financed $325 million of the cost. The NFL financed $150 million, and the Dallas Cowboys paid $525 million.

Houston Texans

NRG stadium (Houston/Harris County)

Opened in August 2002

Stadium Cost: $449 Million

Public funding sources:

  • 2% County hotel/motel tax increase
  • 5% County auto rental tax increase
  • 20% Parking tax
  • $1.00 per ticket surcharge
  • Sales tax rebate on in-stadium spending

The public financed 43% of the cost, and 57% was financed privately.


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