You Might As Well Watch the NFL Playoffs. You’re Paying for Them.

After a crazy NFL Wild Card weekend, in which the Cincinnati Bengals managed to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory and the Minnesota Vikings kicker blew a chance at an easy game-winning field goal, Americans are ready for another round of playoff football. Fans should tune in this weekend, as they are paying for the NFL whether they watch the games or not.

NFL owners are professionals at convincing politicians to fund their stadiums with taxpayer dollars through the use of tax-free municipal bonds. Though these financing tools were originally created by Congress to help fund roads and schools, they are now used to support a league that is worth $45 billion.

To show the varying ways that NFL owners shift the costs of new stadiums to local taxpayers, here are four examples from teams that will play in this weekend’s divisional round: the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers.

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