By all accounts, Arlington is overpaying to avoid the scary thought of possibly "losing" the Rangers to Dallas, just 30 minutes away....even though there doesn't appear to be a lot of indication relocation was either imminent or likely. Oh, and the team's owners are billionaire oil magnates.
Tip o' the hat to my investigative counterparts at WFAA-TV for doing great watchdog work on a lease that has seven more years left on it.
Regardless of what you think about Arlington's plan, it's a great reminder that nobody can make money by building a stadium - that's why teams rely on the public to do it for them. Neil deMause points out "we’re already looking at Arlington putting down at least $519 million for a return of at most $60 million."Great ques, @brett_shipp. And yes, the @Rangers are forcing Arlington to negotiate itself. https://t.co/A6LONNxVEG— Shadow of Stadium (@StadiumShadow) August 10, 2016
Basically, a city of Arlington analysis showed its investment would generate more tax dollars without new Texas Rangers stadium.
Sound familiar Tampa Bay?
It should - it echoes the exact thing Rays owner Stu Sternberg told St. Pete a year ago: that it's in the taxpayers' "best interest to get the (Trop) land back" and redevelop it as something other than baseball.
And devout readers of this blog will remember my post about how much economic activity Tampa might lose if it were to spend tax dollars on a new stadium downtown (using the Tampa Bay Times' own fuzzy math):
Also worth noting: a recent study in San Diego puts the ROI on that city's proposed stadium/convention center at just three cents on the dollar!
And, if you need any more evidence that stadiums don't generate profits and are only called "public" facilities so they can avoid paying property and construction taxes....Maricopa County is selling off the Diamondbacks' ballpark - lock, stock, & barrel - for only $60 million dollars, a fraction of what the stadium cost to build 18 years ago.
That's a pretty crappy return on your real estate investment during a period when the franchise's value has grown exponentially. But the politicians out in the desert may actually have a pretty decent idea about cutting their losses.
It's a much better idea than, say, fighting with the public when you need their support for a stadium referendum:
Rangers stadium heads for ballot, Arlington mayor grabs at phone of opponent videoing him: https://t.co/BhnXnXKYv6 pic.twitter.com/PGaRdOMDNM— Field of Schemes (@fieldofschemes) August 10, 2016
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