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

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.