Ravens will get $150,000 in tax money for soccer game, angering Maryland’s treasurer

Ravens fans pack stadium
Getty Images

Public officials are increasingly questioning whether NFL teams are getting too sweet a deal on their stadiums, at the expense of the taxpayers, and the latest such question is coming from the treasurer of Maryland about a deal given to the Baltimore Ravens.

English soccer teams Arsenal and Everton will play at M&T Bank Stadium on July 16, and the Maryland Stadium Authority, which owns the stadium, has agreed to give $150,000 in tax revenue from the soccer game to the Ravens. Maryland Treasurer Dereck Davis told the Baltimore Sun that’s a great deal for the Ravens and a lousy deal for the taxpayers.

“I’m seriously considering . . . requesting legislation that would take that authority away,” Davis said. “This is clear: They’re being callous and reckless with the people’s money.”

The last time M&T Bank Stadium hosted a concert, when Metallica came to town, the Ravens also got $150,000 of that tax revenue. Davis said there’s no need to help out a private business like the Ravens with public money.

“There’s a difference between being pro-business and being pro-stupid. And I’m not pro-stupid,” Davis said.

The Washington Commanders also play in Maryland, but they’re looking at building a new stadium, and they’ve found little support for getting help from the taxpayers in either Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia. A backlash seems to be growing against the idea that tax money should benefit the big business of the NFL.

25 responses to “Ravens will get $150,000 in tax money for soccer game, angering Maryland’s treasurer

  1. why has it taken this long for them tosay anything let alone actually act! because they don’t really care, they just want another slice of pie. when people can barely pay their bills and billionaires get kickbacks- great society they’ve de3signed

  2. That’s like me renting out my house, but the money goes to my local Kentucky Fried Chicken instead of in my pocket.

  3. …a government offical actually worried about how tax pay money is spent…

  4. It’s about time! Tax payers funding new stadiums for billionaires and conglomerate owned teams is an outdated model soon to go the way of the Dodo bird. These owners can come up with multiple billions of dollars to purchase a team but can’t raise money for a stadium without public funding? If that is the case, then the PUBLIC (city) should own the stadium, its naming rights and the concessions. If the owners want these proceeds, than they have to pony up for them, they can’t continue to have their cake and eat it too…

  5. I’m not a big fan of using public money to subsidize private business, but I would be interested in hearing the other side of this. Did the Ravens negotiate these re-imbursements? Did they give up something in return (such as committing to a longer term lease or something).

  6. Your seriousness is nonsense says:

    July 1, 2022 at 6:17 am

    Good for Dereck Davis
    Lol good for what? He hasn’t done anything and isnt planning to do anything. This is all hot air to get support without actually doing a single thing. He even hedges what he says by saying “I’m seriously considering…” but since it’s what people want to hear they stop looking into it

  7. This is criminal. Is it common for publicly owned stadiums to pay teams for stuff like this? I am talking all sports.

  8. The Ravens and *most other pro sports teams bring with them a lot of economic value to their city. Baltimore can choose to stop giving such deals, but then don’t be surprised when another city looking for a stimulus for their local economy decides they would like to play ball and entice the Ravens to move cities with a much better deal. Generally it’s a good deal for both parties. But I agree that if Baltimore or any other city put a stop to the deals, then that is their free choice and they should definitely do that. But they won’t be exempt from the likely consequences of losing the team and the economic value that they provide to their city. All parties (including fans and tax payers) can and should act in their own best interest.

  9. So we get to hear one side of the story. I’m curious about who pays to repair the field after the soccer game or concert? Who provides the security or concession workers? Lot’s of unknowns with this one.

  10. The $150,000 is an incentive for the Ravens to bring in more events. The same type of payment was made to the Orioles with respect to a Paul McCartney concert.

    People fail to understand that major entertainment acts and English soccer teams do not just show up in your city. It takes a first-class facility and someone with the expertise to attract and coordinate such appearances. $150,000 is a great investment for the citizens of Baltimore if it means that more topnotch things to do keep coming to the city.

  11. As a resident of Maryland, I am fine with a billion dollar corporation owned by a billionaire getting $150,000 for essentially doing nothing. Not like that money could help low income people with getting health care…

  12. State-owned entertainment venues? Sometimes I think that Americans don’t realise how much socialism there is in their country. There is precisely zero moral justification for taxes from everyone to be spent on the entertainment of a few.

  13. Would Baltimore get that game if it didn’t have the stadium? Would Baltimore have the stadium if it didn’t have the Ravens?

    My expectation: the Ravens lease the entirety of the stadium and pay rent sufficient to cover the year’s worth of carry costs (repayment of public bonds, maintenance, etc.). Any non-Ravens use of the stadium therefor requires that the Ravens consent to their landlord making use of and money from their rented premises. The cost for that consent: $150,000.

  14. Maybe stop the taxing that way the event can be cheaper for all those who want to attend. They will also have more money to spend on local businesses.

  15. When you can pony up 5 billion to buy an NFL franchise then you can also pay for a new stadium out of pocket. Quit fleecing the taxpayers to fund your private businesses.

  16. I support any state official who is careful and skeptical about using public funds for private business, especially when the issue is spending huge sums to build a stadium that are not going to be recovered. But there is much more to this particular story.

    The Ravens apparently were very involved in arranging the soccer match. It was arranged when Baltimore and DC were still actively promoting their World Cup bid to support the case for bringing the Word Cup to the region. Had the bid been successful, it would have been an economic boon for Baltimore, but it was just recently turned down. The Ravens are still promoting the event to their ticket holders, and apparently doing civic promotions, so there should be some benefit to the city. There is an article on the Sports Illustrated website that explores the details.

    In essence, this is the same thing as paying an agent a share of revenue they bring to the table- in other words, a commission. You can look back in hindsight and maybe say it turned out the commission was too much since the World Cup bid failed, but that is hindsight.

  17. darthhelmut says:

    Quit fleecing the taxpayers to fund your private businesses.
    The owner owns the team. The state needs to fund the stadium so they make billions in tax revenue off of it.

    The owner doesnt see any of the tax revenue a stadium bring the gov so why should he pay for the venue?

  18. I got $15,000, too … for promotional considerations. Used it to gas up my car.

  19. Marylands treasurer is just mad that money won’t be going into his pockets. MD politics is as corrupt as Chicago it’s all a big shell game where they just move money from the tax payers into their own pockets and say it’s for education or something.

  20. If I am not mistaken, Didn’t the Ravens just complete a 50 million+ dollar renovation to M&T Bank Stadium? Didn’t they just upgrade the concourses, restrooms, video boards, concessions, put in escalators to the upper deck, improve the WiFi, add charging stations, etc, etc………. I wonder why this bloviated crook did not squawk when all this was going on. Actually in the grand scheme of things, the State of Maryland probably blew through 159k while I was typing this.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.