Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Why do we continue to ignore the facts?

They always promise that public dollars spent on stadiums and sports teams will result in job growth, increased spending by attendees, drawing people from outside the community and increased tax revenues. But the promises are are empty, as has been demonstrated time and again by numerous economic studies of similar deals.

Please take the time to read this article by Ilya Shapiro, "Politicians and Team Owners Snooker Sports Fans and Taxpayers,"

Here's a summary of some of the point - and it mirrors what I've said all along:

•Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys performed an exhaustive study of sports franchises in 37 cities between 1969 and 1996 and found no measurable impact on per-capita income.

•The only statistically significant effects were negative ones because revenue gains were overshadowed by opportunity costs.

•An older study looked at 12 stadium areas between 1958 and 1987 and found that professional sports don't drive economic growth.

•A shorter-term study looked at job growth in 46 cities from 1990 to 1994 and found that cities with major league teams grew more slowly.

•Stanford economist Roger Noll has noted that the majority of attending fans come from within a 20-mile radius, such that money they spend would otherwise have gone to another form of local entertainment or recreation.

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