New sports stadiums don't improve local economies

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76 Responses to “New sports stadiums don't improve local economies”

  1. Deidzoeb says:

    Seems like the claims of economic stimulus from stadiums have also been disproved when considering the history of Olympic venues over the last 20 or 30 or maybe 50 years. Harry Shearer points out news items related to this practically every week on his radio show Le Show.

  2. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    Reality: owners demand public subsidies, with the threat of moving the team and angering hordes of rabid fans who will then vote local politicians out of office.  Local politicians feel they have no alternative but to give the owners what they want.  Studies purporting economic benefit are a fig leaf.

  3. sievetronix says:

    I am a huge fan of Soccer and Hockey. (I write this expecting the usual sheeple comments from those who are just aren’t into sports and insist on being pricks about it.) 

    But subsidizing sports arenas is costly and dangerous. Very often arenas blackmail poorer communities into paying for these arenas in hopes of economic development that never pays out. Case in point Red Bull arena in Harrison arena took out huge loans to provide a for an arena and adjoining condos and naturally it never panned out and now Harrison is screwed.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-09/red-bulls-stadium-bonds-sap-new-jersey-town-as-condominium-visions-vanish.html

    • Bink Binkerson says:

      I’m not into most sports.   I’m not into poodle pedicures, either.   Why should sports be subsidized?   All it does is enrich the owners, and cause barely literate muscleheads to be paid 1000x more than they should be.

      • sievetronix says:

        not into most sports. fine. should they be subsidized, no.
        That’s my point.read the entire thing.

        The rest is the usual blah blah blah.

      • Quiche de Resistance says:

        How do subsidies cause athletes (I assume they are the “muscleheads” you referred to) to be paid more?  Why shouldn’t they make the money they do?

        • C W says:

          “Why shouldn’t they make the money they do?”

          Because the money is based on reliance on public funds to fund their continued employment.

  4. Quiche de Resistance says:

    But what about economic impact of the Vikings leaving Minnesota and going to LA or wherever else somebody would build them a stadium?

    • Manny says:

      I don’t know how much money a team puts into the local economy independent of the stadium business. What is the mechanism for that? Mostly the money is buffered through the stadium, gear licensing which is not local, etc.

    • If you look at the study, you’ll see that what is being compared here are the long term economic impacts on cities that have sports teams and how that compares to similar cities that did not have a sports team during the same time period. The truth is, sports teams just don’t seem to help the economy. They change how people are spending leisure money, but don’t particularly increase the amount of money being spent. And they only employ a small number of people full time, so they don’t matter very much to that side of the economic equation, either. Some of the studies even showed cities with sports teams doing worse over decades than those without the teams. 

      Let ‘em go LA. We’ll be fine. 

      • Quiche de Resistance says:

        Well I guess they have to lose somewhere.

      • Teller says:

        Forget economics (though AT&T in SF has done well and bolstered an entire section of town.) It’s a quality of life issue. Like museums.

        • Brainspore says:

          It’s a quality of life issue. Like museums.

          That’s a legitimate argument but not the one that stadium-backers usually make when they’re trying to get these things built.

        • Donald Petersen says:

          It’s a quality of life issue. Like museums. 

          Feh.  As TheHowl mentioned above, San Diego does not feel a strong need to keep its big sports franchises in town no matter what the cost.  My old hometown maintains its creaky old San Diego Sports Aroma… I mean, “Arena”… oops, I mean the “Valley View Casino Center” even though every year it hosts a couple dozen concerts, the Barnum & Bailey circus, Disney on Ice, a weekly swap meet, and… let’s see, sports, sports, sports… hmm… no NBA since the Clippers left in ’84, no professional ice hockey in five years, no arena football in nine years, no indoor soccer in seven years… oh, wait!  There’s still the Lingerie Football League!

          The Padres got their fancy downtown ballpark (IIRC, before the move, the Chargers started getting huffy with the Padres about sharing locker room space, of all things) to the tune of $450 million in 2004.  They’ve barely squeaked out two division titles since then, so it doesn’t seem the new stadium has helped their performance much.  And the Chargers have been bitching about Qualcomm Stadium and threatening to leave since before the big 1997 renovation.  And after eight years languishing in their traditional sub-.500 cellar, they renewed an old Padres tradition of finishing the regular season strong and choking in the postseason.  Will a new stadium in San Diego help that?  Who cares?  Will it help San Diego?  Not in the least.  That is a city full of literal fair-weather fans, who would much rather go outside and play sports themselves than watch their lame professionals work at it.  The 1997 expansion cost $78 million, and Petco Park cost $450 million, and I’m hard-pressed to find a single advantage that San Diego residents received thereby.

          People go to San Diego for the weather, for the outdoor activities, for the beaches, for the sailing, for the vibrant theatres, for its world famous zoological parks, and yeah, for its museums.  Who really looks to San Diego for world-class professional athletic teams?  Considering San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the nation, do we really wonder why the Chargers and Padres are considered small-market teams?

          San Diego could stand to raise a tax or two for education and fire prevention.  It needs a new sports facility like it needs a fleet of snowplows.

      • digi_owl says:

        Makes me think of copying, and how it is more likely that it moves money around then cause a net loss.

    • Brainspore says:

      But what about economic impact of the Vikings leaving Minnesota and going to LA or wherever else somebody would build them a stadium?

      L.A. doesn’t need the headache either. There are still a lot of people who are understandably bitter that their community was forced out of Chavez Ravine back in the 50s so the city could build a stadium for the Dodgers. If the city wants to invest in things that might help the local economy I hope they spend the cash on developing public transit.

    • krische says:

      first the Lakers, then the Vikings lol

    • SedanChair says:

      That, I suppose, is the difference between a “public-private partnership” and a “hostage situation” 

  5. Yes, it is good to apply a high standard to such subsidies and analyze all the effects (not just the easily seen ones, but also the unseen ones). That said, I think it is also worth going beyond such utilitarian analysis and also considering the moral case against subsidies.

    Forceful taking from some to give to others cannot be made right by showing some increase in “activity”, “GDP” or whatever other macrometric, just like gangbangs cannot be made right by showing that the cumulative gangbangers’ satisfaction was higher than the rape victim’s disatisfaction. Even if the assaulters were sex depraved and the victim was a prostitute, aggression cannot bring a “greater good”.

    It bears repeating that aggression is simply not the basis for a peaceful cooperative society.

  6. TheHowl says:

    As the bumper sticker around here says: “Go, Chargers, go! … somewhere else!”

  7. WillieNelsonMandela says:

    I have no problem increasing cigarette and alcohol taxes to pay for a stadium because that way I have the option whether or not to contribute. The best way to boost the local sports economy, however, is to have winning teams. A new stadium can’t help with that.

    • C W says:

      “I have no problem increasing cigarette and alcohol taxes to pay for a stadium because that way I have the option whether or not to contribute.”

      Why the fuck should my alcohol fund your crappy sports? More likely, you don’t like sports OR alcohol and lump us all together as useless.

  8. TheHowl says:

    These sorts of claims never seemed to pass the sniff test with me. Out where I am, the Chargers have been threatening to leave for years unless we (the public) pay for a (fancy new) stadium (in an inconvenient place) instead of their (old, large, perfectly adequate) stadium (in a central, convenient place). The team constantly claims how profitable the new stadium would be… but the billionaire owner, who actually could pay for the whole shebang out of his own pocket, won’t.

    If it’s going to be so profitable, why do you need a subsidy?

  9. GuyInMilwaukee says:

    Socialism for the rich owners. Cruel capitalism for everyone else.
    Why more cities don’t go the Packer route I’ll never figure out. It’s great to own stock in your team.

  10. coinc says:

    Our small city of 120,000 was forced to build a 225 million dollar stadium by a city council which paid no attention to the 80% of respondents who said ‘no’ to its construction. This was to ride the Rugby World Cup wave, which gave us four international rugby games.

    The other day we had an Elton John concert, in which people complained that the acoustics in the stadium were appalling.

    It is expected that we will now host three or four international rugby games a year, aaaaaannnd that’s about it.

    Our city is now so broke, that social services are being slashed, city council employees are losing their jobs, and rates are skyrocketing.

  11. PeaceLove says:

    Every injustice has the same root cause: the corruption of government by a tiny minority of very wealthy people. Why should sport stadiums be any different?

    Attack the roots! Go support your local #Occupy and help take back your government. That’s the only way to prevent having your tax dollars stolen by superrich team owners who extort sweetheart deals out of cities on the backs of their citizens.

  12. Bink Binkerson says:

    Pro sports, especially football, has become an ally of religious and military right-wing fascism.  No F’ing way should any of this get a dime of public money.   Especially now.  Naturally the wingnutters LOVE this sort of abuse of public money.

  13. sievetronix says:

    To be fair, sports are a huge part of community life in many cities across the world. If there was no Baseball, Football Ect Ect  in my home town of Philadelphia bodies would be stacked like cordwood throughout the streets. 

    Ideally what should happen is communities should have a stake in the teams apart from being personal ATM’s for the owners. There should be a form of fan ownership of the club as a way of keeping the community involved in the day to day operation of the team and to keep owners from just picking up and moving whenever they think they can get more money. 

    Such a system is used in the German Bundesliga. pros and cons here.
    http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2010/03/11/fan-ownership-the-bundesliga-model/

    in searching for this link it looks like fan ownership has been proposed for the Dodgers. Go for it!

  14. Huh, they just knocked down two perfectly good stadiums in Pittsburgh, and built two new ones. I think they’re trying to knock down a third, and build it somewhere else.

  15. mypalmike says:

    If they used stadiums to manufacture goods and/or provide services, they would have a chance of generating economic growth.  As it is, they are places where people run around with a ball while others watch.

  16. C W says:

    “To be fair, sports are a huge part of community life in many cities across the world”

    And those fans should exclusively be paying for these projects, not the rest of us.

  17. Jonathan Badger says:

    In other news, there’s no correlation between the quality of a university and the success of its sports teams, yet we are constantly being told that football in particular is essential to the success of universities in the US.

  18. sievetronix says:

    OK maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I proposed fan ownership of the clubs, This can have numerous benefits, It keeps teams fiscally sound,keeps prices low, stops teams from picking up and moving and or extorting their communities and helps as a way of generating income without relying on local goverments.

  19. Dave says:

    So I think there’s some bias and/or selective sampling going on or whatever because here’s how I’ve seen things work:

    When a new stadium is built in an under-utilized or under-developed part of a city, it has a revitalization wave that will churn the property around it into something better and more valuable to a lot of people.  Example #1 being San Francisco’s Baseball park.  The part that the old stadium leaves pretty much turns into a dump, but there’s a decent chance it was already a dump.  

    When a new stadium is built over an existing stadium, there’s no need for new infrastructure or commercial development and it’s not going to improve much either long or short term.  Examples being Cincinnati, St. Louis and other cities that spent public money on something that only makes team owners richer and the community not so much.

    In San Francisco, the South of Market area was mostly run down, warehouses and undesirable spaces until the new baseball park was built and now it’s expensive trendy and all that sort of stuff.  Lots of stuff was built and is still being built.  It’s definitely had a positive effect on the area in San Francisco and made a lot of money for a lot of people and given a lot of people jobs and everything in between.  

    • GawainLavers says:

      The revitalization of SoMA started before Willie Mays Park, and seems likely to me to be trivially influenced by it.  Just watching the pattern of development it seems to have been driven by the dot.com boom followed by UCSF.  The one positive thing about it (well, apart from being a nice ballpark generally) is that it’s encouraged a lot of people to use BART

      • Teller says:

        Trivially influenced. You weren’t at the World Series parade last year, I guess. Well, not if you call it Willie Mays Park. Agree about your chain of events, though – dot-commers, loft-livers, etc, were first. But when plans for the ballpark location became known, it cranked everything up. That park is as much a contributor to civic pride as MOMA. And all that Giants’ gear has been a boon for sweatshops. Go 99%!

        B-spore: I dunno. I think the We’ll-lose-the-team-to-Santa Clara was a big pro-ballpark argument and that’s Q of L.

        • GawainLavers says:

          I can’t bother to keep up with the latest corporate sponsor name, so I just call it what it should have been called in the first place.

          In the meantime, the 9 years of suck the preceded the World Series last year didn’t seem to slow the SoMA down. The area around the ballpark had already gone from dangerous to upscale in ’98 when I first moved here and was looking for a tech job.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          That park is as much a contributor to civic pride as MOMA.

          I liked South of Market better when you could still run into somebody getting fisted on the sidewalk at 10 AM on a weekday. Where’s the demimonde supposed to go with all these ‘civic improvements’ taking over the area?

        • Donald Petersen says:

           I think the We’ll-lose-the-team-to-Santa Clara was a big pro-ballpark argument and that’s Q of L.

          While nosing around to see how the Chargers’ current stadium hunt is going, I find that the “Chula Vista Chargers” was a proposed name and venue change.  That would go over about as well as the Van Nuys Rams or the Hoboken Jets.

          If they moved back to L.A. they might inherit a local fanbase predisposed to hate them from all the years the Rams and Raiders were there, but I really wonder if they’d get more than a “don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya” from San Diegans.

          • TheHowl says:

            Chula Vista can have ‘em. :) But then, Chula Vista might be a separate city but is very much still in the San Diego metropolitan area, so it’s not much of a move. I suspect that if they went there they’d pull some sort of ‘Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’ dickmove and become the ‘San Diego Chargers of Chula Vista.’

            Of course, even that doesn’t solve the underlying problems with the Chargers as a team: a) they suck, and b) San Diego-area will never be a big market. We’re hemmed in by LA to the north, desert to the east, Mexico to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Nowhere in San Diego County exists room for the fanbase to expand (even if they didn’t suck).

            So this kid goes in to family court and the judge asks him who he wants to have custody. “Your mom?” the judge asks. “No, she hits me!” he says. “Your dad?” “No, he kicks me!” the kid says. “Well, who do you want to look after you?” the judge says in exasperation. “I want the Chargers… they don’t beat anybody!”

            Okay, I’ve been up too long. :)

          • Teller says:

            Re: San Diego.
            1. Winning helps development deals.
            2. LA’s had good luck with Minneapolis. Vikings before Bolts.

          • Donald Petersen says:

            Re: San Diego. 

            1. Winning helps development deals.
            2. LA’s had good luck with Minneapolis. Vikings before Bolts.

            Sure, winning helps.  Of course, winning also results when you have a deep-pocketed owner with a large market.  Every now and then the Chargers look like they’re going to pull off some fairytale Cinderella story, which might help their reputation among what fans remain.  But then they don’t.  What bugs me is when the team threatens to leave (like it’d be a huge loss) if the city doesn’t pony up the big bucks for a new state-of-the-art stadium a few short years after an expensive renovation/expansion.  And when the league demands a new stadium if the city ever wants to host another Super Bowl (since the ones in 1998 and 2003 were so terribly substandard, I guess).
            I don’t care whether L.A. inherits the Vikings or the Chargers or the Mayberry Muffintops.  Since the whole deal seems to rest upon the construction of another  stadium when both the 93,000 seat Coliseum and the 94,000 seat Rose Bowl aren’t being seriously considered anymore is just lame.  Current plans are for the new stadium in Industry to be privately funded.  Doesn’t surprise me that even after 16 years without an NFL team, Angelenos aren’t keen to spend their own tax revenues on something like that.

    • Quothz says:

      If the new stadium raises value in the area, why is the land around the old one a dump? Unless you’re saying it raises the value -briefly-, which is worse than nothing.

      • Dave says:

        Economies are a zero sum game.  You bring consumers to something, they’re obviously taking away from development, improvement and upkeep in another area.  
         

  20. styrofoam says:

    If you accept the fact that the government sometimes bankrolls things that its base may derive some sort of enjoyment from, rather than brutal rationalism, then things get kind of fuzzy.

    Museums:  hoity toity arteests
    Parks:  Hippy dippy granolas
    Stadiums: Dumb jock muscleheads
    Libraries:  four eyed poindexters

    If you’re willing to forego all of that, (and more, I’m sure) then you’re going to be pretty tough to sway on the article.
    If you’re one that enjoys subsidized art museums that occasionally hosts pieces “on loan from the collection of [billionaire]” then I’m not sure how to justify museum funding, but not sports funding.  At the root of it all, it’s just circuses.  (and I’m of the mind that they’re worthwhile circuses.)

    At what point do sports become less of a priority than other pursuits?

    From an owner’s standpoint, I can understand why you’d want the revenue, but not necessarily want to be chained to a venue that’s going to be used for your purposes sixteen times in an abnormally busy year.  With local ownership, you can end up with a location that can be used for other events year round-  but the further you deviate from single-purpose park, the more the sports owners are going to complain.

    So to me, the value prop comes from once you factor in all the prices that go into the stadium, and all the revenues that come out of the stadium, is that amount of dollars something that your constituents will derive a proportional amount of enjoyment/value from?  Realizing that some people will enjoy it zero, and some people will enjoy it significantly more, it becomes difficult to run that sort of calculus.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Museums: hoity toity arteests
      Parks: Hippy dippy granolas
      Stadiums: Dumb jock muscleheads
      Libraries: four eyed poindexters

      But only in the case of the stadium is there a billionaire or a group of billionaires making a gigantic profit off the venture. So, really, there’s no equivalency there.

    • Quothz says:

      There is some evidence that children exposed to libraries, museums, and parks are better-adjusted and will be more successful and productive later in life. There is no such evidence for watching sports, although I do vaguely recall a study showing that children become more violent for a time after watching a pro sports game.

  21. jimbo2112 says:

    Very few, if any, arts institutions can support themselves on the funds they generate by their activities.  For example, symphony and opera ticket sales typically cover between 25% and 50% of the total cost of operating those institutions.  Should these institutions be supported by the public even though they cannot justify themselves in pure “market” terms?  I think so.  Especially because they do not exist to profit a few private individuals.

    I don’t think pro sports teams have similar problems.  

    That said, IF a community chooses to tax itself to pay for a facility to help a for-profit organization make more money, is that a legitimate exercise of the democratic process?

    • sievetronix says:

      I think, depending on market, sports teams make way more money than things like the ballet. For one thing sports teams tend to cross class and racial divisions more readily than other cultural institutions, not to mention they have a potential geographical footprint than things like museums.

      sell much more merch too.

      I think the problems most teams have come from 1. overspending and teams not making enough money. 

      with strict financial rules in place I don’t see a reason why any team shouldn’t be able to afford its own stadium.

      • jimbo2112 says:

        Yes, exactly.  They make more money, all money made above cost goes to their owners as profit, and they typically sustain themselves financially.

        One other thing, and this is just my personal bias, I think cultural institutions add far more to quality of life than do sports teams, either pro or major college.  I say this having grown up in a city (Denver) that for most of my life did not have major league baseball.  

    • styrofoam says:

      So not enough people like symphonies and operas.  Boo Hoo.  Every time art-based funding needs more money, put it to a public referendum, very publically advertised.

      I’d guess that’d be a tougher vote to pass than funding sports arenas.

      The owners are going to make their money SOMEWHERE, and they’re doing their best to milk the system.  (This needs to be kept in check.)
      The flip side being that if the community feels that there’s some sort of cachet, quality of life, matter of pride that comes from having a sports team, then that’s the amount you need to determine in order to pony up.

      Frankly, I wish the funding for a sports arena/team could be written in such a way that the locale owns the color scheme, name, and history book. If the owner decides to part ways with the players and franchise, that’s fine-  but it’d end the nonsense of Lakes and Vikings in LA, and Colts in Indianapolis. 

      When the Browns franchise left Cleveland to become the Ravens, the history of the Browns got to stay in Cleveland as long as the stadium deal that was currently underway was pending.

      I wouldn’t propose that the leagues had to give carte blanche to the cities to start/fold their teams on a whim- but the franchises would have to be managed somewhow-  but LA wouldn’t get  yet another purple and gold team to tweak my nose with.  Because IT’S ALL ABOUT ME.

      (And yes, I’m in favor of supporting the arts.  I just think it’s not really fair to say that sports aren’t only about money, but the art world is exempt from that.  Pieces of Art are worth millions of dollars, sure-  nobody’s just figured out a good way to commodotize the sale of these goods to the masses, that’s all.)

  22. JonCarter says:

    Many of these same problems exist for most government “stimulus” projects. It is usually a big waste of money that only benefits the friends of the party in power.

  23. jimbo2112 says:

    BTW, in my experience arts organizations (at least here in Georgia) get most of their non-sales funding from private, voluntary donations.  Very little, if any, public funding is available for most orgs.

  24. digi_owl says:

    Outside of the age old bread and circus argument, i have a had time figuring out why sports have become as big as they have.

  25. ScytheNoire says:

    Detroit is doing great since getting new Tigers & Lions stadiums. (sarcasm)

  26. tomrigid says:

    Did anyone mention yet that AT&T/Pac-Bell/Baseball Giants Park was the first privately financed MLB stadium since the Dodgers squatted the completely empty and desolate and worthless Chavez Ravine in 1962?

    Ok, there was a bundle of redevelopment cash, but not terribly much: $15 million late-’90s, and that neighborhood needed plenty of redeveloping (see “Fisting, 10am).

    I’m not sure what “exception that proves the rule” means, but I think this is it.

  27. hadlockk says:

    After spending thanksgiving weekend sipping on beer with my family in West Texas watching a combined total of 12 hours of football (Cowboys game, UT/A&M game, regional highschool playoff game the next day), there’s something to be said for the cultural significance and tradition of doing these sorts of things. 

    If sports stadiums are roughly breaking even for the community, then they’re doing better financially than public transportation! If the roman coliseum was a success nearly 2000 years ago, and we have thousands of high school ball parks and football fields scattered across the country, it’s reason to believe that humanity places some non-financial value on regional sports teams.

    Sure we as Texans largely ignore the Cowboys when they’re doing bad, but they’re a source of immense regional pride when they’re doing well. Sports permeate every level of society, they’re even discussed in a death row inmate’s last words - http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/dr_info/daviswilliamlast.html

    Yes you can argue that financially stadiums are a disaster, but they’re a luxury of a healthy community. It would be a huge loss if the Dallas area lost the Cowboys, San Francisco lost the 49ers, or New York lost the Yankees due to a bean counter and his slide rule.

    • Donald Petersen says:

       there’s something to be said for the cultural significance and tradition of doing these sorts of things.

      There is that.  West Texas without football would be fairly unthinkable.  But it all depends on the locality and the local culture.  What would people in Green Bay do if they couldn’t put cheese wedges on their heads and freeze their fannies off rooting for their fan-owned guys?  San Diegans can just turn off the TV and go surfing.

      I think that there used to be much more of a 2-way street when it came to fan loyalty.  Around the time I stopped paying attention to San Diego sports, a couple of local guys hung it up.  Tony Gwynn played for San Diego State, then was drafted on the same day by the San Diego Clippers for the NBA, and the San Diego Padres.  He played his entire 20-year MLB career for the Padres, and now coaches at his alma mater.  Though he was born in Long Beach, he’s been an icon of San Diego sports his entire adult life.

      And the Chargers had Junior Seau, who was born in San Diego and played for the Chargers for 13 years and 12 consecutive Pro Bowls before getting traded.  I think he still owns his restaurant in town, but he opted not to stick around like Gwynn.  I think the days of players like Gwynn are behind us, and I think it’s hard for new fans to build up a lot of loyalty to teams made up of players with limited loyalty to their fans.

  28. Ewen Cluney says:

    I don’t care for any sports myself, but I can recognize that other people get a considerable benefit out of them. The problem comes when a highly profitable commercial interest demands money from the city to build a stadium, in at least some cases solely because they can get away with it and increase their own profit margins. I don’t think even ardent sports fans should be in favor of that, and I can’t think of another commercial venture that’s quite so brazen in demanding public funds without having any legitimate need for them. If people were clamoring for them and the sports team legitimately can’t afford it, I can understand having the city consider subsidizing the stadium, but that seldom seems to be the case. At least here in San Jose the arena for the hockey team (I think it’s currently the HP Pavilion) doubles as a concert hall and generally hosts a lot more than Sharks games.

  29. Greg Laden says:

    Maggie, we can’t let the Vikings go to LA because we need them.  In Minnesota, The Vikings provide an important thing to complain about other than the weather, and with global warming, the weather has become unreliable as a thing to complain about, while The Vikings are stepping up to the plate, as it were. 

    But seriously, it would be interesting to see what would happen if local governments and other stakeholders stopped being held hostage across the country.  I would assume that if public subsidies were either unavailable or modest (and there is probably nothing wrong with modest public subsidies as any development project might get) that a model could be worked out wherein the gazillions of dollars that currently changes hands in the sports business could build the stadiums.  

    Having said that I want to add one more element, VERY relevant to the Minnesota Vikings situation;  It is absolutely astonishing and actually makes me rather angry that this conversation can happen without a VERY STRONG insistence that wherever a new stadium goes, it be on existing or realistically likely to be built public transit.  The site the Vikings owner seems to be insisting on is not and my understanding is that it can’t easily be integrated into our belated and meager light rail system.  

    Having a major public stadium built on an emerging public transit system would actually provide a benefit … introducing transit people who might otherwise go to their graves ignoring it. 

  30. Did the study make a distinction between stadiums built to house professional teams versus those built to house college teams?

  31. Cowicide says:

    I hate the fact that a lot of money that goes to stadiums/sports is laundered to help support republicans.  It’s slimy, despicable, unAmerican and it needs to stop.

    Dave Zirin on “Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love”

    via interview: [emphasis mine]

    ” … The owner of the Orlando Magic is a gentleman by the name of Dick DeVos. He’s worth $4 billion. … The DeVos family, not unlike old feudal Europe, married into another billionaire family, the Prince family.

    And Dick DeVos’s son married a gentleman by the name of Edgar Prince’s daughter Betsy. Betsy’s brother -— we see where this is going — Erik Prince, the owner and founder of Blackwater.

    Dick DeVos is also one of the ultimate funders and underwriters of that right-wing edge of the evangelical movement and of the Republican Party. And he’s also getting a $480 million publicly funded stadium right now. And through his donations to the Republican Party, of course, Erik Prince has gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for Blackwater. … “

  32. Peter says:

    Stadiums are inflationary…where else can you sell $3.00 beer for $8.00. Plus the added bonus of riots if the team wins…or loses!

  33. benher says:

    Well, where else are we gonna cram all those circuses and bread?

  34. absimiliard says:

    Re:  The Vikings going to LA.

    If they do so they can go fuck themselves.  LA has nothing to do with vikings, historical or sports-related.  And, further, the Vikings (and I’m from Minnesota) gave up any rights to have any pride when they moved indoors.  Now all I want to do is call them pussies and offer them a nice bowl of catnip-flavored warm milk.  The only thing I care about them is that they’re from Minnesota, if they leave . . . “Whatever” won’t even begin to encompass how little I’ll care about them.

    -abs thinks the Packers are still “Manly Men” though, they still play outdoors in the snow and freezing cold (for that matter, so do the Gophers, don’t they?)

    • Brainspore says:

      LA has nothing to do with vikings, historical or sports-related.

      When I think of L.A. the first things that come to mind are large bodies of fresh water, mid-19th century sailing vessels, monarchy, winged supernatural beings and people who are good at evading things.

      • Brainspore says:

        (To clarify: I was referring to the L.A. Lakers, the L.A. Clippers, the L.A. Kings, the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles and the L.A. Dodgers, respectively.)

  35. absimiliard says:

    Well, my viking ancestors weren’t really into monarchy, winged supernatural beings (we liked our hot, female, supernatural beings to RIDE winged things, not HAVE wings).

    But they sure did like sailing vessels, and were good at avoiding things.  (like the armies trying to stop them from getting upriver to where they could raid various cities and monasteries)
    So I guess I was wrong, there is a connection……-abs has his tongue firmly in his mouth, and is feeling a little less ranty (though if it’s true that LA is stealing the Vikings I’m going to hate them all)

  36. John Vance says:

    Hey Maggie, fellow Twin Cities resident here. Thank you for running this story. I thought this debate was a unique situation; it’s interesting to see that similar things have played out in other areas as well. If this thing gets built using even a penny of taxpayer dollars, it will be a travesty. Economy gone to shit, state government shut downs, social programs being cut…the last thing we need is some big shiny stadium to host events that cost weeks’ worth of some people’s wages to attend.

  37. Teller says:

    Well, the Angels is a homegrown Los Angeles name from PCL days. The Lakers, of course, a wonderful gift from Minn. Los Vikingeles is probably how the Vikes will be known.

  38. Bill Heffner says:

    The San Diego  baseball stadium, Petco Park, was certainly the pivotal event of enormous, actually monumental, development in downtown San Diego. I suspect that had little to do with the stadium itself, however, and more to do with its role in declaring the entire area an “economic redevelopment zone,” something which has enormous tax consequences in California.

    Significantly, the state legislature is trying to do away with that concept, because it keeps too much tax money in local hands and away from the state’s coffers. San Diego is fighting that tooth and nail because, wait for it, it wants to build a football stadium for the Chargers in the downtown “economic redevelopment zone” in which Petco Park is located.

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