Arnold Kling  

Stadium Obstruction

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Henry Aaron (the economist, not the former baseball star) writes,


The proposed deal imposes huge costs on the District and gives virtually all of the financial gains to the team. The city will bear the burden for years to come, while enjoying little real financial benefit from baseball's presence here.

...Numerous studies have shown that large stadiums, surrounded by parking, do little to promote economic development.

But why look at cost-benefit analysis when a sports columnist can see with his own eyes what a great thing stadiums are? Michael Wilbon writes,


I can't believe the stupid junk I read from academics who spin their silly obstructionist excuses on what stadiums don't bring, when all you have to do is look at what they actually contribute in Cleveland and in Denver

For Discussion. What are the negotiating advantages of the District of Columbia and major league baseball, respectively?


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CATEGORIES: Cost-benefit Analysis



TRACKBACKS (3 to date)
TrackBack URL: http://econlog.econlib.org/mt/mt-tb.cgi/154
The author at FoolBlog in a related article titled Nope, no tickets yet writes:
    I've long said of DC baseball that I'll believe it when I'm in my seat on Opening Day and the team is taking the field. This off-season's events have gotten my hopes up, but even still the possibility of them... [Tracked on November 12, 2004 10:11 AM]
COMMENTS (4 to date)
Joe Kristan writes:

No comparision. One is an ossified relic run by incompetents with the full powers of the state. The other is just a municipality.

Tom Cunningham writes:

I'm not sure that the District has any negotiating advantage here. MLB could easily move the team to Las Vegas, Northern Virginia, or Portland if they don't get what they want in terms of stadium funding. Other than the PR fallback, they don't lose anything. They have DC in a stranglehold.

If the benefits are increased demand in downtown housing and jobs and businesses downtown, how should a stadium be financed? Should individual taxpayers pay the burden, or should it be increased capital gains taxes on real estate sold, business licenses in surrounding areas. Individual taxpayers in Southeast aren't going to see the benefit from this. Why should they pay for it when others are going to be reaping the benefits?

The Fifth Beatle writes:

The only advantage DC had is that some Congressmen were really behind the deal. And MLB lives in mortal fear of losing their anti-trust exemption.

Other than that, an intelligent city will just have to wait for the leagues to run out of cities dumb enough to pay for these stadiums. Like LA is doing to the NFL.

Bernard Yomtov writes:

The advantage DC has is that they don't have to do this. They can live just fine without a baseball team.

OTOH, the Expos are a financial disaster in Montreal and pretty much have to be moved. If the people in DC have brains and guts, and refuse to be overawed by the glory of having a Major League team, they can probably get a very good deal. Unfortunately, history has few examples of cities refusing to be overawed.

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