Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune has a long story about how the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview used taxpayer money to build Toyota Park, a stadium for the for-profit, privately owned Chicago Fire soccer club. Did it pay off? Why, yes, of course it did. It paid off for the team and different businesses that had connections to town politicians. Did it pay off for the taxpayers? No, of course not. These projects never pay off for taxpayers. I’m not opposed to sports. My family owns a share of a Chicago Cubs season ticket package. I was a running buddy at a Girls on the Run 5K race that ended at Toyota Park, and all of the participants loved having our cross of the finish line shown on the video scoreboard. But should Bridgeview taxpayers have to pay for that? Good reasons to raise property taxes including funding for schools, parks, and libraries, which benefit everyone and build the economic health of a community. Rotten reasons are funding for private businesses that should be able to raise capital in the private market for viable ideas. If a private company can’t raise money in the private market, it’s probably because their project is a crummy idea. Rahm Emanuel is making noises about trying to get a Super Bowl for Chicago. I hope the idea dies, because it will be a loser for the Chicago taxpayers. I have tickets to see the Cubs this season, so I know from losers.