F, Flunk, Failure

GDP

The new stadium in Gwinnett County where the Gwinnett Braves will open their inaugural season next month has won a Best in Atlanta Real Estate Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle cited “potential economic stimulus” as the primary reason for giving this project its top award.

Wow, just…wow! “Potential economic stimulus”…un-be-fucking-lievable. I wish the judges would read their own publication, where I had this to say less than two months ago.

“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.”

But hey, don’t take my word for it: pick up the phone and call some economists from any of Georgia’s many fine universities. It is extremely frustrating to see members of the media reporting analysis that would earn an F in any introductory economics course. The awards panel should be embarrassed.

UPDATE: I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Dear Editor,

I was disappointed to see the Atlanta Business Chronicle reward the new Gwinnett Braves stadium with a Best in Atlanta Real Estate Award. The article detailing the project highlighted the “potential economic stimulus” of the project as the reason for its selection. The problem is, the claims of economic benefits of sports stadiums are as mythical as the North Georgia Sasquatch.

I stated as much in the January 12, 2009 issue of Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“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…. “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 also detailed significant problems with the finance plan in a February 2, 2008 Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle should be educating the public about economic truths instead of perpetuating fallacies.

Sincerely,

J.C. Bradbury

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