Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flashback: 2013! Sports, Jobs, & Taxes

As a follow-up to the "Flashback: 1997! Sports, Jobs, & Taxes" blog post, how about a few recent 2013 articles on America's stadium conundrum?
  1. Harvard Kennedy School on Press, Politics, and Policy - How to Curb Sports Teams’ Demands for Free Public Stadiums
  2. Money putting fans further away from game
  3. And finally, Pacific Standard - America has a Stadium Problem:
Economists have long known stadiums to be poor public investments. Most of the jobs created by stadium-building projects are either temporary, low-paying, or out-of-state contracting jobs—none of which contribute greatly to the local economy. (Athletes can easily circumvent most taxes in the state in which they play.)
Economists have also been, according to Long, drastically underestimating the true cost of these projects. They fail to consider public subsidies for land and infrastructure, the ongoing costs of operations, capital improvements (we need a new scoreboard!), municipal services (all those traffic cops), and foregone property taxes (almost every major-league franchise located in the U.S. does not pay property taxes “due to a legal loophole with questionable rationale” as the normally value-neutral Long put it). Due to these oversights, Long calculates that economists have been underestimating public subsidies for sports facilities by 25 percent, raising the figure to $259 million per facility in operation during the 2010 season.
All the while, American cities, counties, and states continue to struggle. Glendale, Arizona, may actually sell City Hall so they can afford to keep subsidizing a hockey team that few people actually pay to see.


  1. Noah,

    Regarding this excerpt from the
    "Pacific Standard - America has a Stadium Problem:" link:

    "And for every out-of-state fan who comes into the city on game day and buys a bucket of Bud Light Platinum, another non-fan decides not to visit and purchases his latte at the coffee shop next door. All in all, building a stadium is a poor use of a few hundred million dollars."

    I don't understand this remark. Is there a gain in revenue because of 'out-of-state' visitors or not?

  2. LOL, maybe become a REAL "investigative reporter", and report something about baseball in the Tampa Bay area in 2020 opposed to soccer stadiums in SE PA. Though I'm sure with you being a huge Boston Red Sox fan, any ammo you can use to discredit the idea of a new ballpark in Channleside is an advantage. If I was a Bahstun Red Sux fan, I'd be scared to to see the Rays have the opportunity to spend double on their payroll from having more revenue...