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What's the lease you can do?

Updated: September 23, 2002, 1:08 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

When the San Diego Chargers opened the exhibition season at home against the Arizona Cardinals last month, San Diego taxpayers paid about $1.6 million for 30,306 tickets that went unsold.

It was just one of the many ways professional sports teams have forced local municipalities to ensure their profitable financial future in recent years.

Call it the flawed economics of what it takes to be a big-league city.

Over the past 15 years, an estimated $20 billion in taxpayer money has ...

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