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01-05-2011, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
I'm not a big fan of 100% taxpayer funded arenas and stadiums. Cities tend to build the facility first, then try to figure out how to fill it so it generates some money. Look at how much money Nashville spent to get the Predators as part of the franchise fee on top of the $144mil to build the building. Before the Preds played a game, the city spent over $170mil ... then several million per year in operating costs and management fees ... another couple mil for a new HD scoreboard .... it adds up.
At the time the arena was built Mayor Bredesen was doing everything he could to bring a big league team to town. So the taxpayers footed the bill for a multi-use arena that would be used primarily for either a NBA or NHL team. The question is why. What benefit would the city receive for the investment? Was it just a feather in Bredesen's cap? Or did he think the economic impact of a professional sports team would eventually pay for the investment? I hear arguments on both sides of the aisle.

Pundits have always lauded Bredesen's business savvy. And since I'm a huge sports fan, I tend to believe the arguments espoused by the former mayor's office. That the economic impact of the Nashville Predators, including the use of the arena for concerts, basketball tourneys, arena football, etc... would be worth the cost of building and maintaining it. There is no way to put an exact figure on the tax dollars generated from hotels, restaurants, bars, parking lots, and other retail outlets that have gotten a boost from foot traffic to the arena. But the project was approved and carried to fruition based on these assumptions.

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