By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Veterans Stadium is now a distant memory, but it’s debt service is still very much a reality. Taxpayers are still paying for the cost of construction for the stadium that was demolished nine years ago.
The original price tag for the 30-year bond that was issued in 1964 for construction of the multipurpose stadium that opened in South Philly in 1971 was $25-million dollars, but the city refinanced several times over the years, falling nearly 20 years behind schedule as a result.
“It’s really not unique, actually,” says Michael Leeds, a Temple University economics professor who specializes in sports.
He says Pittsburgh fell into the same trap with Three Rivers Stadium:
“The money that Philadelphia generated from Veterans Stadium almost certainly did not match the money that Philadelphia paid.”
The city is expected to pay off the nearly $200,000 left of the debt sometime next year.