The military paid pro sports teams $10.4 million for patriotic displays, troop tributes

Teams in the five major American sports leagues have taken in more than $10 million in marketing deals with the military since 2012, but the Department of Defense (DOD) can't account for all of the contracts, much less the money.

The fact that teams like the New York Jets had taken military money to honor hometown troops was revealed this spring, but a report released Wednesday shows that the spending was much larger and much more widespread than originally believed.

In all, the DOD spent $10.4 million on marketing contracts with teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS. This does not count sponsorships in NASCAR, which could total as much as $100 million.
DOD can't account for much of the money they've spent.

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans from Arizona, conducted the study, and were concerned by the that that the DOD could not account for large chunks of the money it spent.

Over the course of the effort, we discovered the startling fact that DOD cannot accurately account for how many contracts it has awarded or how much has been spent; its official response to our request only accounted for 62 percent of its 122 contracts with the major league teams that we were able to uncover and 70 percent of the more than $10 million it actually spent on these contracts... 

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