KTRK News in Houston reports that the Harris County Sports Authority has been dining at the taxpayer trough at a 36-person suite at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros. Sports authority board members and their guests racked up $20,000 in food costs, including $440 for beef tenderloin.  Most shockingly, the report notes that $145,000 in tickets were simply unused by the Authority, i.e. thrown away.  Now, at least some are being donated to non-profits, though they are non-profits that have some connection with a sports authority board member.Â

The stated purpose of all this is “To promote economic development, tourism and convention business. ”

More broadly, the article notes that Houston taxpayers have paid $1 billion in recent years for three sports stadiums – Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium.  Let’s not add insult to injury by having bigwigs wining and dining on the taxpayer dime.