Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Braves Don't Bother with New Economic Impact Report, Figure Old Bogus One is Just Fine

TAMPA BAY, Florida - The Braves want $20 million from the state of Florida for a new spring training home in North Port, on top of the subsidies they are already getting from the city, county, and land developer. And they're relying on an old study that's been wildly criticized to justify the spending.

In an application submitted to the state this week, the West Villages Improvement District claimed a new $75 million spring training park, primarily financed from city revenues and county bed tax dollars, would reap $1.7 billion in economic rewards for the county.

But according to the application, that figure was based on extrapolations from a 2009 statewide spring training economic report from Dr. Mark Bonn, a Florida State University professor who was recently spotlighted by 10Investigates. Bonn is not an economist, but has a rich history of selling reports to municipalities with robust economic impact claims they can use to justify large spending projects.

RELATED: Why you should never believe an economic impact report

10Investigates also caught Sarasota County stretching the truth in February, when they tried to sell the project as one that would "pay for itself."
Following watchdog warnings from 10Investigates during the negotiating process with the Braves, the county scored some concessions from the team and developer to better-protect taxpayers before agreeing to a final contract on a new stadium

The $20 million grant money sought by the West Villages, Braves, Sarasota County, and City of North Port has already been allocated by the state for new spring training projects, so there may be little that critics of stadium subsidies in Tallahassee can do to stop it.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Why can't Cobb County pay for it?

  3. This is my first time seeing the 10Investigates story you link to from this story. I'm impressed by the thoroughness of the reporting. It is especially impressive for local TV.

    1. Thanks, lots more where that came from!

  4. It's a business loan, not a gift like this blog wants you to think. A loan that is to be paid back, with interest including all the other benefits like increased real estate values that draw more surrounding property taxes, it'll be used to draw other businesses and residents, especially those from "Braves Country", local jobs, ECT.. But, your welcome to believe the writers regressive spin on it...

  5. So no report on the Rays attendance so far in 2017? After all, we can't blame the numbers on the Lightning this time??

    Still last place, AVG is down by 1000 per game despite better record than last couple years. I bet $tu can't wait to open his wallet and use his own money to reward the fanbase with a new park.

    Anybody want to tackle why this competitive, fun to watch, more offense-driven than ever before Rays team continues to struggle at the gate?

  6. TBT had an article about a new Rays stadium, we expected a rehashed version of it like usual.