New Jerseyans are hardly alone in paying for stadiums that no longer exist. Residents of Seattle’s King County owe more than $80 million for the Kingdome, which was razed in 2000. The story has been similar in Indianapolis and Philadelphia. In Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Memphis and Pittsburgh, residents are paying for stadiums and arenas that were abandoned by the teams they were built for.
But befitting its name, Giants Stadium is the granddaddy of phantom facilities. Taxpayers in New Jersey, already under pressure from declining local government revenues, this year will pay $35.8 million in principal and interest on the $266 million in remaining bonds for the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which opened in 1976 and includes the Izod Center and a horse racing track. Those bonds will not be paid until 2025.