Saturday, March 04, 2006

Position # 5: Stadiums do NOT create an economic boom

New Yankee stadium proponents contend that this development would create thousands of jobs, and not only produce enormous benefits to the host community but also, generate an economic boom in the Bronx.

Save Our Parks favors stadium rebuilding/renovating to the south and west of 161st Street. After the new parking garages (A, B, and C) are eliminated, there is enough acreage to do this. Thus, construction jobs would not be eliminated in the community’s proposal but slightly reduced since the length of time required for construction would also be shorter. Construction jobs are the only real new (although temporary) jobs created by a stadium project.

Proponents of the present stadium plan are very hard pressed to answer the simple question: how will the project benefit the host community? Aside from the fact that the construction workers would give local merchants some business during lunch hour, there is no benefit to the community. In fact, local merchants would be forced to cut-down on staff and perhaps even go out of business when the retail component of the proposed new stadium gets started. Most of the new stadium shops would be open year-round, would be located near present businesses and would take away a great deal of their revenues. It’s also probable that there would be some switching as staff from the local merchants would find jobs in the stadium retail area but there would be very few new or career advancing jobs.

With respect to the third issue. The new stadium would not generate an economic boom in the Bronx at all. While there are many respected economists and organizations that make this contention, there is apparently no one who can demonstrate that any new stadium, built anywhere in the U.S. has generated a wide-spread economic revival. In addition, the Independent Budget Office points out, the Yankees are already at the location. It’s not like a new team coming over from another borough or another city which would mean fans spending new money in the new location.

Likewise, how many of the suppliers of cement, cables, steel, etc. are located in the Bronx or in New York City. Most of these suppliers are either upstate or out-of-state and extra revenue produced would benefit areas outside of New York City.

All of the above does not take into account that a large amount of public money would be wasted: $70 million by the State to construct the four parking garages, $103 million by the City for the unnecessary synthetic parks, $27 million to demolish the old stadium, plus some $254 million would be lost on special tax exemptions for the Yankees: no property tax, no energy tax, no mortgage recording tax, no tax on stadium construction supplies—in short, a "sweetheart" deal of the first order.

In summary, under the present proposal, the only beneficiaries are Yankee Management. The community would be severely damaged, public money would be wasted and there would be not any benefits for the Bronx.


Post a Comment

<< Home