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POLL: VOTERS WON'T SUPPORT TAX FOR PIRATES AND STEELERS
Published October 23, 1997
A new poll shows southwestern PA voters are set to "resoundingly reject" a proposed 0.5% sales tax to help fund new sports stadiums on November 4, according to Dennis Barbagello of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Results of the poll, commissioned by PA-based Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, a non-profit foundation, "indicate that Allegheny County voters are likely to reject the plan by a two-to-one margin," and voters in the 10 other counties "may vote nearly three-to-one against." Opposition to the proposal "is especially strong outside of Allegheny County" where 71% of those surveyed said they will vote against it, compared to 15% who "indicated support." Other findings found that 43% don't believe the Pirates will leave the city if a new ballpark is not constructed; 31% feel they will and 26% had no opinion. "Only" 15% believe the Steelers will leave without a new stadium. The poll of 336 registered voters in the 11-county region was conducted for the Lincoln Institute October 15-16 by PA-based Precision Marketing. Margin of error was +/- 3% (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/22). TURNING TIDE? ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported that since '89 "voters in nine cities have approved referenda to finance new facilities for their professional sports teams. Only one has failed, Seattle, and it was later approved there. So NFL officials and proponents of new stadiums in cities such as Philadelphia and Denver are closely watching the November 4 ballot issue here in Pittsburgh to see if the tide is turning against taxpayer support of professional sports franchises" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/22).