A Further Thought on Skip’s Post on Chester

Regarding Skip’s post on Chester, Pa.’s forthcoming soccer stadium.

Statistics show why the Philadelphia Inquirer called Chester “five square miles of misery.” Unemployment of 9 percent is almost double the state average; the violent crime rate was second-highest among Pennsylvania cities in 2006; and its schools ranked lowest in the state in 2001, government figures show.

The stadium is positioned as a springboard for the latest effort at economic revival, with $500 million to be invested in adjacent condominiums, stores and restaurants. All told, the project will generate about 1,000 permanent jobs and $19 million in annual tax revenue, said Nick Sakiewicz, chief executive officer of the team ownership group.

According to this 2006 data (I downloaded the national data (i.e. “download Excel of entire table”)), of 8,251 US cities listed, only 28 of them had violent crimes per 1,000 citizens of 25 or above. Chester, 26.5, was one of them. That’s in the whole US! And in terms of murders per 1,000 residents, there were only 66 in the US that had murder rates of 0.49 or above. Chester, 0.49, was one of them.

I posted the following in the comments to Skip’s post.

With a violent crime rate so high, that’s going to affect people’s decision a. to come to the stadium and b. to hang around afterwards.

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. But if you build in in a crime-infested area, they’ll be even less-likely to come.

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Author: Phil Miller

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