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Public dollars often used for new sports stadiums, arenas

It's all about negotiations. Sports teams huddle with municipalities to determine how they will be funded. It's unusual to see an increase in taxes.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fans want a game experience and as new stadiums and arenas are built, more modern amenities are included. Taxpayers shouldn't be surprised that they often foot a chunk of the cost.

SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, cost about $5 billion. It's the most expensive stadium in the United States, according to all records. The project was privately funded by Rams ownership

Allegiant Stadium home of the Las Vegas Raiders has a dome. The price tag $1.9 billion; $750 million came from public funding and $1.1 billion from the Raiders

In Atlanta there's the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The cost $1.6 billion. $200 million in bonds backed by Atlanta hotel-motel taxes was used to help pay for the stadium.

Credit: Claudine Ewing

New York taxpayers have paid a lot over the years for sports arenas and stadiums.

The New York Islanders $1.1 billion UBS Arena opens this year. New York State owns the 43-acre plot of land, but the arena is privately funded. 

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home of the the Giants and Jets cost: $1.6 billion. The teams built their stadium without any direct public subsidies. Public agencies gave up revenues they previously shared from parking, luxury suites and advertising.  

Yankee Stadium, the most expensive baseball stadium ever built cost $1.5 billion. The Yankees supplied $670.6 million about $1.186 billion, came in the form of public money and tax breaks.

The current lease between Erie County, which owns the Highmark Stadium, and the Bills expires in two years.

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