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Stadiums, economic development and slot machines

Here in Maryland we are in what seems to be a never-ending battle over the merits of allowing slot machines into the state. The original battleground was whether slots at Maryland's horse race tracks could save the declining horse-racing industry and generate revenues for the state which seems to be in a chronic deficit situation. The budget deficit is an interesting phenomenon because the state ranks first among the states in per capita income and generally falls in the bottom half for spending.

But now we get the conjunction of slots and stadium led economic development. In today's Baltimore Sun, an article discusses where the city of Baltimore would like to put a slots parlor. The location is just a stone's throw from M and T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens.

Check out the photograph taken from that location showing the warehouses on property seized by the city with the M and T Bank Stadium looming in the background. The picture clearly shows the (lack of) economic development the 10 year old stadium brought to that South Baltimore neighborhood. Also look at the map in the story. I especially like the "Temporary Greyhound Bus Station". As we all know, bus stations are one of the significant benefits stadium led-development advocates claim will result from their projects.

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