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Philadelphia Is Still Paying For The Vet

That is video of Veterans Stadium—prior home to the Eagles and Phillies before they each got shiny, new stadiums—being demolished. As you can see, it no longer exists. It has not existed since 2004, but Philadelphia still owes $183,000 on it.

The city first approved the project for the stadium with a $25 million bond in 1964. Ground broke in 1967 and the Vet officially opened in 1971. After "multiple" refinances on the original 30-year loan, the city will officially pay off the debt in 2014, 10 years after it blew the thing up.

“It’s not typical, but it’s not unusual” says Rick Eckstein, a professor of sociology at Villanova who co-authored the 2003 book "Private Stadiums, Public Dollars" with Temple professor Kevin J. Delaney. For example, after Pittsburgh demolished Three Rivers Stadium in 2000 after 30 years of use, it was still paying off the initial debt by the time the Pirates had moved to PNC Park and the Steelers to Heinz Field.


There is some curious bookmaking surrounding the Vet, however. It was refinanced sometime in the 70s and no one in Philadelphia seems to know how or why, "making it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which refinancing pertains to which bond." Even better, when the city Treasurer was asked about the loan status, it refused to comment on how much had actually been paid on the Vet since the bond was authorized in 1964. Strap in, Miami.

In other news, the same year the Vet finally gets paid for, Ryan Howard begins a two-year stretch that will pay him $25 million per year.

The City of Philadelphia Still Owes Money for the 700 Level [The 700 Level]

Guess How Much Money We Still Owe for Building Veterans Stadium [Philly Mag]

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