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Publicly Funded Arenas: which teams have them?

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12-07-2004, 03:23 PM
  #1
CorneliusBennet
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Publicly Funded Arenas: which teams have them?

just curious but do you know which teams have used for (or even asked for) public funds to build a stadium/arena? I need help in understanding a situation (go ahead, take some cheap shots, I'm opening myself up to them with that line...) so feel free to explain it to me in simple terms:

An owner wants a new arena, says he/she cannot "compete" without one. The owner asks for the public to help fund the building of a new arena. Great. Now said owner claims that he/she still cannot compete and they shut out their employees. In turn, other workers lose their jobs (usher's, etc) and have to go on unemployment or need another form of public assistance (job re-training, whatever) which means I have to pay more taxes to make up the difference. All the while games are being cancelled so no revenue for the area because of no games. So, I, the taxpayer, am asked to 1. pay for your stadium to house your business 2. take an additional burden in taxes in one form or another after you've locked out all your employees 3. see no benefit to our local economy in the form of game-related revenues which in turn hurts our ability to pay the increased taxes for your new stadium.
What am I missing here? Seriously.... why should I even for a second consider 'siding' with any owner of any NHL team, anywhere? Not a chance, frankly.

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12-07-2004, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorneliusBennet
just curious but do you know which teams have used for (or even asked for) public funds to build a stadium/arena? I need help in understanding a situation (go ahead, take some cheap shots, I'm opening myself up to them with that line...) so feel free to explain it to me in simple terms:

An owner wants a new arena, says he/she cannot "compete" without one. The owner asks for the public to help fund the building of a new arena. Great. Now said owner claims that he/she still cannot compete and they shut out their employees. In turn, other workers lose their jobs (usher's, etc) and have to go on unemployment or need another form of public assistance (job re-training, whatever) which means I have to pay more taxes to make up the difference. All the while games are being cancelled so no revenue for the area because of no games. So, I, the taxpayer, am asked to 1. pay for your stadium to house your business 2. take an additional burden in taxes in one form or another after you've locked out all your employees 3. see no benefit to our local economy in the form of game-related revenues which in turn hurts our ability to pay the increased taxes for your new stadium.
If the team folds/relocates
a) the ushers will not have any job to return to
b) city is left with a rink doing nothing

It could be argued the umemployed ushers are no worse off than before you built the rink (and you'd still be paying taxes to keep them). So I'd take them out of the equation.

What's worse

Team + no hockey + unemployed ushers + empty rink + future games

or

No team + no hockey + unemployed ushers + empty rink + no future games


The rink is most likely no going to be empty. There are usually 50 or so hockey games a year. The rest of the time its filled with concerts and the like. Less hockey means more concerts (fans now have hockey ticket money to spend on other stuff).

Quote:
What am I missing here? Seriously.... why should I even for a second consider 'siding' with any owner of any NHL team, anywhere? Not a chance, frankly.
What about the players? They exploit the fact you the fans paid for the arena by screwing money that could have been used for an arena out of the owners, and then screw even more out of the team to the point where the team, which you the fan housed and you the fan buy tickets to, can no longer operate effectively. You the fan, provide a venue for the players, pay their wages via merchandising and tickets, and then they shrug their shoulders and stick out their hands for more. It'd be impossible to side with them too under that logic, wouldn't it?


Last edited by me2: 12-07-2004 at 06:39 PM.
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12-07-2004, 05:25 PM
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It's getting to be somewhat dated now, but Andrew Zimbalist's " Sports, Jobs and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums" covers these issues fairly well. It should still be available at many public libraries....published in 1997...

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12-07-2004, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me2
If the team folds/relocates
a) the ushers will not have any job to return to
Do you really think that ushers support themselves with that job alone?

Everyone I've know who's worked at the Corel Centre on game nights has had full time jobs during the day, sometimes really good ones.

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12-07-2004, 05:38 PM
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CorneliusBennet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GabbyDugan
It's getting to be somewhat dated now, but Andrew Zimbalist's " Sports, Jobs and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums" covers these issues fairly well. It should still be available at many public libraries....published in 1997...
thanks, it is probably what I'm looking for.


And no, I don't think usher's support themselves only as usher's but that really was a side issue. I am curious as to how and why public funds are being spent on privately 'owned' buildings and what the legal ramifications are for those sort of arrangements.

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12-07-2004, 05:45 PM
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I'm a lurker here, but this site might be of some interest to you regarding this issue:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/

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12-07-2004, 05:46 PM
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CorneliusBennet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gernb
I'm a lurker here, but this site might be of some interest to you regarding this issue:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/
oh, yeah, this is the stuff. Beautiful. Thanks. I appreciate it.

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12-07-2004, 05:47 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorneliusBennet
just curious but do you know which teams have used for (or even asked for) public funds to build a stadium/arena?
Joe Louis Arena was bulit publicly (and on the extreme cheap), then the City of Detroit sold it to Mike Ilitch about a year after he bought the Red Wings.

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12-07-2004, 05:49 PM
  #9
CorneliusBennet
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for those interested in such things another site I just found (off the link posted previously) is this:

http://www.leagueoffans.org/nhlarenadeals.html


it's obviously specific to NHL arena deals.

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12-07-2004, 06:48 PM
  #10
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The Pepsi Center in Denver was built on private funds. There are some minor tax breaks, but the city owns the Auraria Campus across the street and makes parking money off of that.

Both Coors Field and the New Mile High came off of tax votes. Coors revitalized the Lower Downtown section of Denver, which has become a model (for better and worse) for alot of publicaly funded arena and stadium plans.

I know the Yotes have a publicaly funded Arena, as do the Rangers and Quinns.

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12-07-2004, 08:47 PM
  #11
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Giants Stadium (Pac Bell Park) in San Fran built in 2000 was 95% privately financed. I believe the city only ponied up a relatively paltry $15MM of the ~$305MM total. Arguably one of the most spectacular venues in all pro sports.

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12-07-2004, 10:26 PM
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HSBC arena was built with roughly 40% public funding. Why are sports singled out when the majority of subsidies go to non-sports businesses? It isn't just sports teams that chose their location based on which area is going to provide the greatest subsidy. I think any of these deals have to evaluated individually to determine the economic benefits. There's a lot of issues to consider:
http://www.edlotterman.com/GovernmentAid.htm

One thing's for sure. I wouldn't consider living in an area without at least an NHL or NFL team.

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12-07-2004, 11:56 PM
  #13
CorneliusBennet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
HSBC arena was built with roughly 40% public funding. Why are sports singled out when the majority of subsidies go to non-sports businesses? It isn't just sports teams that chose their location based on which area is going to provide the greatest subsidy. I think any of these deals have to evaluated individually to determine the economic benefits. There's a lot of issues to consider:
http://www.edlotterman.com/GovernmentAid.htm

One thing's for sure. I wouldn't consider living in an area without at least an NHL or NFL team.

I would, depending on the quality of the life the city has to offer. I can watch any game I want on DirectTV and I travel rather a lot and so go to games in various cities all the time. Speaking of which I'll be in Toronto shortly so I can ridicule Leafs fans and their love of CC in person. :lol

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12-07-2004, 11:58 PM
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the GEC is publically funded as well, which is why Nashville's losses are always so low, despite mediocre attendance for long stretches. they have one of the sweetest leases in the league.

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