Professors say soccer proposal is bad plan

Discussion in 'St. Louis City SC' started by Sport Billy, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Sport Billy

    Sport Billy Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 25, 2006
    http://suburbanjournals.stltoday.com/articles/2008/02/04/news/sj2tn20080202-0203cvj_soccerguy.ii1.tx

    The basis of the article "the funds generated aren't new; the money is just being redistributed in the community" is probably true if the Rams or the Eagles are just asking for a new stadium to be placed where the current one stands.

    I don't see how this applies to either Collinsville or Chester.

    Both plans are developing land that wasn't being developed. Both plans include development beyond the stadium alone.

    Professor Eckstein said "To make back this public investment, there has to be a net increase in tax revenues because of the stadium project," . "Since stadiums traditionally just shift spending away from other nearby entertainment venues, these net revenue increases are very hard to come by."

    Sure, someone going to dinner or using a hotel room might not add revenue to the metroarea, because they would have ate or stayed somewhere. But what he fails to consider is the small size of Collinsville/Chester. If these cities use the stadium to steal a diner/guest from St. Louis/Philly, then it is very good for the small city.

    St. Louis/Phill metroareas are only going to have "X" dinner sales and "X" hotel rooms each year. Not much is going to change that. But if Collinsville/Chester use the stadium to increase their percentage of "X" then they are growing. Growth is good.

    I wish the Philly guys would have the chance to meet Mayor Schaeffer. Brilliant guy, loves sports, loves Collinsville. He wouldn't jump into something like this unless he thought it was good for the city. This is Collinsville's chance to expand their City to the West side of the Highway. If succussful, the plan could spark enourmous growth. As Collinsville City Manager Bob Knabel said, "Is there a risk that these professors are right? Yes, but we think we tried, in terms of the package and how we structured the incentives, and we've minimized those risks and protected us as best we can."


    Knowing the risks, but having the vision to minimize those risks and the courage to push their Cities forward is why Collinsville/Chester should be applauded.

    I don't know if people realize it, but these two plans, if successful, will entirely change the way professional stadiums are developed in the future.
     
  2. McGinty

    McGinty Member

    SKC/STL
    Aug 29, 2001
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Again, people are rushing to hear soundbytes from professors that traditionally right less than flattering papers/articles about stadium funds. Of course, the professors have done very little site specific research so all they are left to do is spout generalities. Unfortunately, many take these generalities to be mean that their specific plan is flawed.

    Collinsville did not just jump at this without any research/negotiation. They did plenty of work with Cooper/Crossroads Inc. to make sure this would make sense for them. Cooper didn't just storm city hall with a list of one-sided demands that were quickly approved by a desperate and cowering city government.

    At least for Collinsville and Madison County, I'm fairly sure this will produce new revenue. Maybe Fairview Heights loses some revenue from this (maybe?), but from what local area would the stadium development area "steal" revenues? Are regular patrons of the Denny's on 157 suddenly going to say, "Hey, let's go to a trendy coffee shop instead"? One could make the case those who normally dine at a place like Porter's might give one of the new places close to the stadium a chance, but Porter's would stand to gain a whole new clientele with people from all around the area visiting Collinsville.

    The places around downtown C'ville should be safe as well since I don't think there will be anything in the new development that could possibly match the awesomeness of Bert's Chuck Wagon. ;)
     
  3. timpcrk

    timpcrk New Member

    Mar 10, 2005
    Bloomington
    I like to follow this general rule: economists don't know Jack.
     
  4. PopsKrock

    PopsKrock New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Belleville
    Club:
    AC St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've written a letter refuting this article. It ought to be published this week. I think WEdnesday or Sunday.
     
  5. kindred

    kindred New Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Chapel Hill
    hey now; that's my profession you're insulting.

    economists can tell you about trade-offs. people often don't want to hear about that.

    the truth is that there will be winners and losers from this deal, inside and outside of Collinsville. usually publicly-funded stadia are net losers, from a financial perspective, for the city providing the funding. in Collinsville's case, the City of Collinsville is going to pay for part of the stadium, and people from Fairview, Belleville, St. Louis (and all its suburbs) are all going to get to enjoy the use of the stadium but pay none of the cost. it takes a lot of hot dog and soda sales to generate the sales taxes necessary to make it revenue-neutral.

    i haven't looked at this proposal in detail, so i really don't know for sure how difficult it will be to make up the money. but it's worth remembering one thing that is often forgotten in these discussion: even if the stadium is a net loser for the city's budget, it could be a net positive for the citizens of the city, by spurring job growth, boosting property values, adding infrastructure, etc. so the citizens of a city may benefit from subsidizing a stadium even if it costs the city some of its budget.

    -wkw
     
  6. Z010 Union

    Z010 Union Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This guy published the same shit in the Inquirer the day before the deal was announced. I hope his kid grows up to be a stadium architect.
     
  7. TomEaton

    TomEaton Member

    Mar 5, 2000
    Champaign, IL
    No big deal. They already approved the building of the stadium and associated development. It'll get built, assuming MLS awards a team (not a foregone conclusion). If the stadium is filled, I think Collinsville will be perfectly happy even if it turns out that they end up losing a little money on the deal. It's good publicity for Collinsville.
     
  8. PopsKrock

    PopsKrock New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Belleville
    Club:
    AC St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. kindred

    kindred New Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Chapel Hill
    i think it is mostly correct that Collinsville will do relatively okay in this deal. but these parts of the professors arguments are almost surely true:

    "Team owners and leagues love that governments will subsidize these ventures," Eckstein said. "It's like a socialized subsidy of a private risk, especially when the owners and leagues get to collect all the revenues. "

    "You have to ask yourself, in the absence of public financing, would the hotel and retail shops come into the market anyway? If not, what makes you think they should be there in the first place?" he said. "If a private investor isn't willing to put the money forward, (the development) probably shouldn't be in the community."

    i'm in favor of the Collinsville plan for selfish reasons, but the best-case scenario for the city is that they are going to leech money from the surrounding towns and cities to recoup their investment. this will decrease employment in those places. i'm assuming that a lot of people who live in Collinsville work in a surrounding town, or does business with those towns, so probably the professors are right: once all the dust settles, more than likely the money will simply be shifted around.

    now, from Collinsville's perspective, that could be okay, so long as most of the "shifting" was going in their direction. but the surrounding areas can't be happy, and neither can folks like the owners of the Gateway City Grizzlies, or theatre owners.

    so, from the regional macro perspective, the professors are almost assuredly right. but from the micro perspective, the deal could be okay for Collinsville.

    -wkw
     
  10. PopsKrock

    PopsKrock New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Belleville
    Club:
    AC St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    See it is a win-win for Collinsville. They get to have a soccer team and get to %$#& Edwardsville.
     
  11. KeeperDad30

    KeeperDad30 Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    Lincoln, NE
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  12. PopsKrock

    PopsKrock New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Belleville
    Club:
    AC St. Louis
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There havn't been comments left to dispute me either. In your face, crazy old guy!
     
  13. John L

    John L Member+

    Sep 20, 2003
    Alexandria, VA
    In general, most economic studies have come up with a mixed bag of conclusions - The more heavily subsidized a stadium, the less the benefits the city or municipality gets back - The less subsidized, the more - And the more diverse the overall development, the more the city gets back as well

    If the city does only the basic infrastructure work, and the owner does all of the stadium and some development, then the city gets back a a large tax base of business and commercial development in an area that would be otherwise zip

    If the city pays for not only the infrastructure plus the land plus building the stadium to give to the owners for free (as DC Govt under the previous mayor Williams) to the tune of $600M then the city will never see any of that amount returned in taxes - And this is what many of the economic studies use as a big argument against subsidized stadiums

    It may not apply to you guys and Chester, nor does it apply to DC United and Poplar Point, but it does happen in the world all too often
     

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