Skip to content

Striking Out in DC?

2010 June 1
by Skip Sauer

The stadium for the Washington Nationals cost over $600 million, most of it in public funding.  A key selling point was economic development of the area along the Anacostia waterfront in DC.  But progress is slow, and perhaps the stadium is not the catalyst it was made out to be.  This story places much of the blame for the absence of a neighborhood renaissance on the economic crisis, and that’s a fair point.  But I find this quote from Victor Williams irresistible:  “What did it bring here besides the stadium?”

4 Responses
  1. June 1, 2010

    No surprise. There are few if any success stories with the public financing of stadiums/arenas. Look at Cleveland, the nations poorest city with 3 professional sports teams.

  2. Greg Pinelli permalink
    June 1, 2010

    Sports teams need to build their own stadiums…if they can’t I have a brilliant solution! Move or do without. Nothing is more hyped and lied about than the “benefits” of bringing a professional franchise to a city or building them a new stadium. These moves are fantastic for owners..vendors and die hard fans.
    The San Francisco 49ers are about to skin the city of Santa Clara for a billion dollar project. Politicians in Santa Clara (about 40 miles south of current residence Candlestick Park) have been pushing the benefits. Right…10-12 football dates a year will turn everything to gold. Candlestick is serviceable and a surprisingly pleasant place to watch an NFL game.

  3. Don permalink
    June 3, 2010

    this isn’t related, but I thought this was interesting

    In Australia, a player who has never play Australian Rules Football is now the highest (or at least one of the highest) paid players in the Australian rules football league, the AFL. This guy had been a star in Austrlia’s rugby league, but from my understanding as a non-Australian, the AFL had a better TV deal and a less restrictive salary cap, so they were able to pay him a lot more. I guess because the two sports are fairly similar, it’s possible for players to switch between them, moreso than in would be with North American sports. Also, a good chunk of the player’s value is his built in fanbase, that the AFL is trying to steal away from rugby.

    http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/players-seething-over-massive-contracts-for-new-signings-20100602-wzsa.html

  4. rdlwolverine permalink
    June 3, 2010

    Let’s keep straight the difference between publicly-funded and publicly-financed. To the extent the bonds on the DC stadium are paid off through taxes on tickets and concessions rather than taxes on the public at large, then the stadium is publicly financed, not publicly funded. To the extent they are paid off with taxes on the public at large, then it is publicly funded. I have a much bigger problem with publicly funded stadiums. I don’t have much problem with stadiums that are merely publicly financed. The article is somewhat unclear on the situation here. On the one hand it states that only 25% of baseball revenues since 2005 have been from the stadium sales taxes and rents. The stadium only opened in 2008, however. On the other hand, the article also states that the stadium is turning a profit. I also don’t consider the Examiner a particularly trustworthy reporting source.

Comments are closed.