This week’s issue of the Atlanta Business Chronicle contains its “Gwinnett Market Report”. The lead article is about the stadium, and I serve the role of critic. Here are some highlights from the article (subscription only).
“The general belief among economists is that there is no economic impact of these publicly financed stadiums,” Bradbury said. “We keep seeing that this will generate $15 million and that is a completely made up number. They are clearly going to have to raise taxes. They are not going to make their first bond payment [without the help of taxes] ; and it is not going to get any easier. ”
“This is a great deal for the Braves and the Gwinnett commissioners should be embarrassed,” Bradbury added. “I think if you called every economist in the state of Georgia at academic institutions, you would find it hard to find a single one that would say this is going to have economic benefits.”
I added the statement in brackets, because my implication wasn’t clear. The County has already made its first bond payment.
Stadium project manager Preston Williams defends the stadium.
“Sometimes I question whether building stadiums is about economic impact or keeping up with the Joneses, but in the minor league side of it you are not laying out $300 million or $400 million to try and get some benefit out of that,” he said. “In the case of minor league sports, there is just as much importance to have quality-of-life issues that people are proud of and enjoy going to.”
“It will more than pay its way before this is over.”
Could a stadium supporter provide at least one academic economist who is not being payed by the County to back up the claim that the stadium will generate net pecuniary benefits? Apparently the stadium is going to pay for itself because it’s going to pay for itself. I’m tired of hearing “these go to eleven” answers.