Civic pride is the ultimate justification for subsidies these days. But both league rules and stadium contracts with public entities blunt the financial incentive for teams to win. This requires an adjustment, according to the University of Chicago's Allen R. Sanderson. If pride in a winning team is worth something to a city, then the shame that comes from getting beaten repeatedly requires an offsetting tax.
Sanderson's piece in the Chicago Tribune is a bit tongue in cheek, but it has plenty of facts to go along with the humor. And as a matter of logic, if you buy the civic pride argument for subsidy, you should also buy the civic shame argument for an offsetting tax!