(The Center Square) – Wisconsin voters are against using tax money to pay for improvements to the Milwaukee Brewers’ American Family Field, a new poll shows.
Only 29% supported using tax money to pay for stadium improvements when asked in a poll of 1,347 Wisconsin voters between Oct. 13-14. When told that the stadium used $609 million in sales tax since the subsidy passed in 1996, 41% of respondents said they were less likely to support the deal than before hearing that face, the poll from Public Policy Polling said.
The poll comes after last month’s announcement of a new plan to finance stadium upgrades using $400 million in state taxpayer funds along with $67 million in county and city taxpayer funds for the $700 million project. That deal could see a vote as soon as this week.
The deal requires the Brewers to stay in Milwaukee until 2050 and the team to spend $100 million on the project.
The Wisconsin Assembly, with majority Republican support, was expected to vote on the plan late Tuesday night. The Senate is expected to take it up next week.
The poll asked if voters would support politicians who support the funding deal and 51% said they are less likely to support those politicians while 9% say they are more likely and 32% said it won’t make a difference.
“Your reminder, voters don’t like using tax dollars on stadiums,” economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University said of the poll. “They will see you at the polls. I hope the seats you got were worth it. Also, once you’re out of office, you’ll find you’ve been crossed off the pass list.”
The poll also told voters that the Brewers are now worth $1.6 billion, nearly seven times what owner Mark Attanasio paid for the team. It said that Attanasio also recently bought an English soccer team for $50 million and then asked if Attanasio or taxpayers should pay for the improvements with 77% saying that Attanasio should pay and 8% saying taxpayers should pay for the improvements.