Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Discussion about new sports facilities in Kansas City
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Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:51 pm

This applies to both downtown stadiums, and renovations. However, the article does point out stadiums can "bring back hollowed-out downtown areas". But the claims of economic impact for stadiums in general are severly overexaggerated. Of course, there are less tangible reasons for building sports facilities for teams.

Sports economists agree that cities--and taxpayers--get close to nothing from spending public money on sports teams. What they haven't figured out is why we're still doing it. (registration required, see bugmenot.com)

This new skepticism of public sports team funding is thanks in part to a small community of economists who have taken up and methodically rejected many of the claims made about the economic benefits of major league sports teams: that they create jobs or bring money to local businesses or otherwise spur economic growth. ''Generally speaking," says Andrew Zimbalist, a professor at Smith College and a leading sports economist, ''the independent research suggests that we can't anticipate any economic impact" from sports teams and stadiums.

Still, despite wide unanimity on this point among economists, not even the harshest critics of sports team subsidies believe the practice is in danger of extinction. Less than two weeks ago, Washington, D.C., agreed to pay an unprecedented $611 million to build the Washington Nationals a baseball stadium, raising again the question of why it is we're so willing to throw money at our hometown heroes.

Economists are starting to take up that question, too. The answer seems to involve a potent combination of the business of sports, the workings of local politics, and the irrational human tendency known as fandom.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby GRID » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:54 am

Most of us know this already.  Stadiums are a wash at best, even downtown.  They "can" be used to create critical mass of activity and as "leverage" to redevelop a "specific" area, but they do not grow the economy...even in Downtowns, most development would occur anyway or is forced (like the P&L district).

Put a stadium downtown and don't aggressively develop the surrounding area (like the Sprint Center or Ballpark Village in StL) and very little development outside a couple of bars will occur.

So what.  There is more to having stadiums than economics, but people just want to ignore the intangible factors and try to make sense of it all by just what you spend and what you get in return, cost benefit analysis etc.

I think the image of the city, the pride a downtown ballpark could create in the city, the quality of life it adds to the residents of the city to be able to watch or follow local major league teams, the ability to take your kids to a baseball game or take out of towners to Chiefs game matter just as much as what the owners put in the pot and what stadiums do for the economy.

I don't know, I just like having MLB and NFL.  Of course there is a limit to what taxpayers should be responsible for, but I just think some of this economic crap is total BS.

Do you want to live in a city with major league sports?  If so, then there will be some level of subsidization.  Don't like it?  Move to Topeka....or I guess  Johnson County :).
Last edited by GRID on Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby NorthLeawood4 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:27 am

lol... come on in JoCo we have some pretty intense rec soccer games. :D

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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:09 am

GRID wrote:Most of us know this already.  Stadiums are a wash at best, even downtown.  They "can" be used to create critical mass of activity and as "leverage" to redevelop a "specific" area, but they do not grow the economy...even in Downtowns, most development would occur anyway or is forced (like the P&L district).

Put a stadium downtown and don't aggressively develop the surrounding area (like the Sprint Center or Ballpark Village in StL) and very little development outside a couple of bars will occur.

So what.  There is more to having stadiums than economics, but people just want to ignore the intangible factors and try to make sense of it all by just what you spend and what you get in return, cost benefit analysis etc.

I think the image of the city, the pride a downtown ballpark could create in the city, the quality of life it adds to the residents of the city to be able to watch or follow local major league teams, the ability to take your kids to a baseball game or take out of towners to Chiefs game matter just as much as what the owners put in the pot and what stadiums do for the economy.

I don't know, I just like having MLB and NFL.  Of course there is a limit to what taxpayers should be responsible for, but I just think some of this economic crap is total BS.

Do you want to live in a city with major league sports?  If so, then there will be some level of subsidization.  Don't like it?  Move to Topeka....or I guess  Johnson County :).



it is just the usual negative crap he spouts off about the teams and stadiums grid.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:19 am

Translation: I can't refute the facts so I'll attack the messenger.

I agree there are intangible benefits to having major league teams which is why I agree with some subsidization of sports teams. This is just a bit ridiculous. And I think I would feel the same if it was a downtown stadium 90% publicly financed.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:26 am

KCMax wrote:Translation: I can't refute the facts so I'll attack the messenger.

I agree there are intangible benefits to having major league teams which is why I agree with some subsidization of sports teams. This is just a bit ridiculous. And I think I would feel the same if it was a downtown stadium 90% publicly financed.


please. there are so many studies out there that say both, back and forth, all of the time. is there not a study published, today, in the star, that says that the city will reap 400m in benefits annually from pro sports?

i have taken the time previously to show how many millions the city makes JUST off having 81 home dates, with hotel rooms for players, coaches, management, trainers, medical, equipment staff, eat, and sleep, at hotels. that was discounting ANY fans coming.

you can sit here and live in total obscurity and believe in your heart that the city of kansas city does not benefit one red cent from having the royals and the chiefs, but, you are living in fantasy land.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:58 am

Oh yea, that was the post where you speculated numbers out of thin air. The Star article was a total hack job. I would think the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce would want a study that favors public subsidies for stadiums.

Yea, I'll totally buy those two opinions over the opinions of sports economists who have done serious scientific work on the issue.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:00 am

KCMax wrote:Oh yea, that was the post where you speculated numbers out of thin air. The Star article was a total hack job. I would think the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce would want a study that favors public subsidies for stadiums.

Yea, I'll totally buy those two opinions over the opinions of sports economists who have done serious scientific work on the issue.


i speculated them out of thin air? or posted reality? 81 home games, 25 players, 25 other personel that travels with the teams, and anyone can call the hyatt, or westin, and get room rates, and meal rates. you do the math if the REAL numbers that anyone can get, do not work for you. by all means.

ok, then, go read the study in the star today, that says the royals and chiefs will bring $412m to the metro ANNUALLY, it is in the star today. i am just amazed you had not posted it yet, usually you do that with pieces in the star.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:49 am

It’s getting harder and harder for baseball teams to wangle public money for new stadiums.

Many traveling salesmen have met the fate David Samson encountered in Portland, Oregon, a few months ago. When the Florida businessman ventured to town to hawk his goods, he was greeted with a curt “No, thank youâ€
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:52 am

[quote="KCMax"]
It’s getting harder and harder for baseball teams to wangle public money for new stadiums.

Many traveling salesmen have met the fate David Samson encountered in Portland, Oregon, a few months ago. When the Florida businessman ventured to town to hawk his goods, he was greeted with a curt “No, thank youâ€
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:54 am

Why are they biased? Is the KC Star which supports the renovation project not biased? These are scientific studies done by professional economists. I seem to remember a time in this country when scientists used to be listened to. These days, if their conclusions don't match one's opinions (or religious beliefs), well that means the scientists are "biased."

Show me how they are biased and I'll be willing to listen how sports teams are such a boon to local economies.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:58 am

KCMax wrote:Why are they biased? Is the KC Star which supports the renovation project not biased?


yes, it is. they all are. they are written from one point of view or the other. you will never get it any other way. someone is funding the study, and it is either pro sports people, or anti tax crowds. either way, someone foots the bill of the study, and it comes out biased.

i read that piece on the florida marlins, there is another one out there that says how the city of las vegas was turning cartwheels over their shopping, how san antonio has over 300m in place for a stadium, and how charlotte was ready to negotiate with them, if they felt they were serious.

so, these reports, and studies, and even journalism, can be, and is, biased.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby lock+load » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:05 am

kcdcchef wrote:
amazing how you just keep on posting the biased ones for your point of view, and ignore the opposition.


And everything you post isn't biased?  Come on man. 

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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:05 am

lock&load wrote:And everything you post isn't biased?  Come on man. 



did i say it was not? mine is, and so is yours.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby lock+load » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:08 am

kcdcchef wrote:
did i say it was not? mine is, and so is yours.


You were complaining about a post being biased.  Save it until you want to look at the fact with a clear unbiased mind.

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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:13 am

lock&load wrote:You were complaining about a post being biased.  Save it until you want to look at the fact with a clear unbiased mind.


not complaining, just stating the obvius. but when you post this:

KCMax wrote:This applies to both downtown stadiums, and renovations. However, the article does point out stadiums can "bring back hollowed-out downtown areas". But the claims of economic impact for stadiums in general are severly overexaggerated. Of course, there are less tangible reasons for building sports facilities for teams.



i mean, come on. we all know the study, that max, who, is against this, posts, will be in support of his point of view.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:20 am

Why would they be biased against public financing of sports stadiums? Who is paying for them to be biased? What proof of there is of them being biased? Show me some proof that they are biased and I'll start listening to arguments that public stadium financing is a great economic benefit to cities. My impression was that Andrew Zimbalist is paid for by the university he works for, but if you have proof he is being paid off by some anti-tax organization, I'll certainly discount his scientific work. I'm just more likely to believe a professor at a university than a study paid for by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. But if you can give me a reason not to, then I can accept that.

But if what you're saying is true, that all these studies are biased, that means we don't really know what, if any economic impact sports teams give a community. That to me, is a compelling reason not to give them hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies if we don't even if there is an economic impact.

I'm just trying to get at the truth chef. I have many studies from Andrew Zimbalist and other professors saying one thing, and a study by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and your estimations on the other side. I am open to hearing both sides, but right now its hard to believe the "stadiums are an economic boon" side.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:27 am

KCMax wrote:Why would they be biased against public financing of sports stadiums? Who is paying for them to be biased? What proof of there is of them being biased?



who funded the study? who? whoever commisions them, has something to gain from it, either getting a tax defeated, or passed. period.

KCMax wrote:
But if what you're saying is true, that all these studies are biased, that means we don't really know what, if any economic impact sports teams give a community. That to me, is a compelling reason not to give them hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies if we don't even if there is an economic impact.



in every presidential election, every major newspaper in the united states of america supports one candidate, or the either. how can you not understand the fundemental principle that of course these things are biased??

KCMax wrote: .

I'm just trying to get at the truth chef. I have many studies from Andrew Zimbalist and other professors saying one thing, and a study by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and your estimations on the other side. 


the greater kansas city chamber of commerce does not do the study. they are the catalyst, they are the ones writing the check to get the study done.

if you cannot believe the teams pump millions into the metro through hotel rooms and restaurants alone, i am not sure what planet you live on. 50 personel from each team, needing rooms, and fed, plus umpires, and media. that is saying NOT ONE FAN travels to watch the royals. you ever been to cardinals and yankees games? red sox games? either way, just going on what can be verified, JUST for the royals, that is a SHITLOAD of room nights  and food and beverage. how bout the chiefs? the opposition stays in town 2-3 nights. 10 games a year. 51 players, 20 coaches, 8 referees, 20 members of national media, i mean, take that TIMES 10. you are going to argue those FACTS? i am not guessing at numbers there, that is bare bones reality. how can you ignore that revenue coming in? it is millions.

and there is no way to doubt there are fans coming in town for both teams. why else would all the hotels, and restaurants, in the kc area be supporting this? for their health? come on, think, dude, think.

and again, the facts about how many room nights there are in mlb alone, WITH NO FANS. the chiefs, and royals, with NOT ONE SINGLE FAN factored in, give us 10,000 hotel room nights, and double that in meals. that is a LOT of money. and you know that. and again, without factoring ANY fans traveling for games. you been to opening day? yankees games? cardinals games? red sox games? the 10 chiefs games? come on, you know there are people traveling or those events.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:32 am

I don't understand what Smith College has to benefit from stadiums being not publicly funded. I guess its easier to just throw out the word "biased" without knowing who funds the studies.

And still, if every study is biased, I think its ridiculous to throw millions of dollars at something if we don't even know what the economic impact is.
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Re: Stadiums not an economic boon for taxpayers

Postby kcdcchef » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:36 am

KCMax wrote:I don't understand what Smith College has to benefit from stadiums being not publicly funded. I guess its easier to just throw out the word "biased" without knowing who funds the studies.

And still, if every study is biased, I think its ridiculous to throw millions of dollars at something if we don't even know what the economic impact is.


who paid smith college to do the study? you and i both know someone pays the study. the kc chamber of commerce did one, and the spin was what they wanted.

get real, you have to understand this.
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