Today, the AJC published an Op-Ed by yours truly on the potential economic development benefits of the new Gwinnett Stadium. Here is a snippet.
Braves 1, taxpayers 0
Economic benefits overstated for publicly funded Gwinnett stadium
By J.C. Bradbury
For the Journal-Constitution
Saturday, April 25, 2009
On April 17, the Gwinnett Braves began play at their new home in Gwinnett County. The publicly funded stadium was initially slated to cost $45 million, but the price quickly ballooned to $64 million, with no word yet on what the final construction tab will be. In addition, the county has been unable to sell naming rights to the stadium, which the county anticipated returning $500,000 annually to cover 20 percent of the debt service.
Despite recent county government budget cuts, layoffs and tax hikes, the commissioners have insisted that the stadium will increase economic activity more than enough to offset construction costs. However, economists have long known that the frequently touted economic benefits of sports facilities are pure fantasy.
For further details see this post.