Indy offers a note of caution for Atlanta’s new stadium dreams

Last Super Bowl-related item (probably) … this one very much relevant to metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. From an editorial by Bloomberg:

As you watch the Super Bowl Feb. 5, spare a thought for the taxpayers in the host city of Indianapolis. The stadium in which the game will be played has been financed largely at their expense and, like so many sports venues built with public money, the cost just keeps growing.

Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play eight regular season games per year, has every amenity: a retractable roof, state-of-the-art turf, seven locker rooms, 137 luxury suites, 1,000 flat-screen televisions. And well it should: It cost $720 million to build.

Of this, the Colts paid only $100 million. To cover the rest, local officials raised taxes on hotels, restaurants and rental cars, and issued bonds that soon led to ballooning financing costs.

The editorial refers to a Bloomberg news story about the specific financing mistake Indianapolis made — one that’s not likely to be a problem here if the state and city agree, as seems increasingly likely, to build a new stadium for the Falcons. But the following problems will be germane:

With the Colts threatening to leave town in 2006, an economic-impact study done for Indianapolis suggested wondrous civic advantages would soon flow from a new stadium: Along with the expansion of an adjacent convention center, the project would create $2.25 billion in economic benefits over 10 years, 4,200 new permanent jobs and 4,900 construction jobs. And, of course, the team would stay. The stadium duly opened in 2008.

But like many studies of its kind, this one will probably turn out to be fantasy. Public funding for sports stadiums has been found, in dozens of studies over several decades, to fall short of its promised benefits and to cost taxpayers more than expected.

Robert A. Baade of the Heartland Institute, a research group in Chicago that promotes free markets, examined 48 cities over a 30-year period and found “no factual basis” for the argument that professional-sports stadiums and teams have a significant impact on economic growth. A study by Judith Grant Long, an associate professor of urban planning at Harvard University, found that public subsidies for stadiums are typically 40 percent more expensive for taxpayers than initially advertised.

I have heard no good explanation for why the alleged conservatives running our state would want — immediately after paying off the bonds that financed the Georgia Dome — to sink another $400 million or more into a stadium that will simply mean the same number of games are played at two stadiums rather than one, while precluding the use of hotel/motel taxes for transportation, education, law enforcement, water/sewer infrastructure, reducing other taxes …

– By Kyle Wingfield

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103 comments Add your comment

silver foot

February 6th, 2012
2:57 pm

kyle wingfield is ricky schroeder’s doppleganger.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:04 pm

Especially since the Falcons are horrendous.

silver spoons

February 6th, 2012
3:05 pm

foot,

It’s schroder, dumbarse!

DannyX

February 6th, 2012
3:07 pm

Ethics, stadiums, tax plans…

Kyle, is there anything you like about the Republicans running Georgia?

clyde

February 6th, 2012
3:08 pm

The alleged conservatives simply want to spend taxpayer money.They are addicted.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:09 pm

I see the Braves got new uniforms. Too bad uniforms don’t win championships or UGA’s Power Ranger uniforms would have them in the national title. Oregon as well.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:09 pm

“The alleged conservatives simply want to spend taxpayer money”

I want to spend taxpayer money on hamburgers for the poor.

katherine

February 6th, 2012
3:12 pm

cons do it in the dark!

getalife

February 6th, 2012
3:13 pm

The home team wins the Super Bowl in 13.

Who dat?

ByteMe

February 6th, 2012
3:14 pm

Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play eight regular season games per year, has every amenity: a retractable roof, state-of-the-art turf, seven locker rooms, 137 luxury suites, 1,000 flat-screen televisions

Makes it sound like there are only 8 games there a year, doesn’t it?

But if you get past the distraction of the amenities, you realize that a whole lot more activities happen there each year than just the 8 regular season football games. Like 2 preseason games, the state football championship, the NCAA Final Four every 5 years (the NCAA’s home is in Indianapolis), etc.

Media bias?

And Indiana also has a very conservative legislature and governor. Now why would they act like conservatives and push public money toward private companies (like football teams), I wonder?

Bryan G.

February 6th, 2012
3:20 pm

Isn’t blank worth a billion or so? If he wants a new stadium, how about he buys it.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:23 pm

“The home team wins the Super Bowl in 13.”

gotnolifenorajob doesn’t realize that he lives in Atlanta. Not Katrina land.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:24 pm

“cons do it in the dark!”

libs do it with their cousins.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2012
3:32 pm

Pretty good companion site for Kyle’s post, here:

http://fieldofschemes.com/

Kyle Wingfield

February 6th, 2012
3:32 pm

ByteMe: All of those things took place at the RCA Dome, too.

Linda

February 6th, 2012
3:33 pm

My shoes last longer than stadiums in Atlanta.

BubbaRoy

February 6th, 2012
3:46 pm

“Ethics, stadiums, tax plans…” Dang Kyle, I am starting to agree with you about some things!

DannyX

February 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

The NFL just signed a new tv deal worth billions but still expect taxpayers to kick in most of the cost for their new football palaces.

Lets throw in some class warfare, the new stadium with $400 million in tax payer funds is needed because the Dome doesn’t have enough one percenter suites.

Dusty

February 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

Ohhh nooooo! Those awful words about stadiums: “Cost taxpayers more than expected!”

Got it! Cost taxpayers more!! And I don’t even like football!!

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:55 pm

Out of all the teams in Atlanta only one team has ever won a championship.

One.

Out of decades and decades of sports, only one team has won anything.

One.

Dusty

February 6th, 2012
3:55 pm

I know. We’ll build another useless stadium.

Then we’ll send DannyX to Washington for a bailout!

Oops, I forgot. Washington won’t be giving loser bailouts after the next election.

Nevermind, DannyX

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:56 pm

Atlanta Braves = 1 WS title.

Atlanta Hawks = ZERO

Atlanta Falcons = ZERO

Atlanta Thrashers…oops

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
3:57 pm

Tampa teams = 2 championships

New Orleans = 1

Miami = 4 championships

What other southern cities am I missing with championships?

ragnar danneskjold

February 6th, 2012
4:00 pm

At least the Georgia Dome is an easy subway ride. Try to get to Turner Field via MARTA. It’s easier to park at Underground and walk. Why shouldn’t Republicans (albeit not conservatives) waste money like democrats?

Linda

February 6th, 2012
4:04 pm

Arthur Blank stared into space with a blank stare when it was suggested that his new stadium could double as a homeless shelter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/michael-bennett-homeless-ballparks_n_1232045.html

pat

February 6th, 2012
4:06 pm

It doesn’t make financial sense, of course, but I hate the dome.

Why can’t we just cut the roof off? That seems like the easiest thing to do. Convert the Dome. Cheaper and can be done in the off season.

DannyX

February 6th, 2012
4:11 pm

“Washington won’t be giving loser bailouts after the next election.”

Exactly Dusty, Obama’s economy and second term won’t need more of that loser Bush bailout money. Obama used some of loser Bush’s bailout money for the auto industry. Still, Obama has recovered most of the loser Bush bailout money. Good point Dusty.

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
4:21 pm

For those who don’t remember, Tom Murphy steered the Georgia Dome through, to help out his buddy Rankin Smith. From what I’ve heard, a sizeable majority is against building a new stadium for Arthur with public funds. Arthur has friends in high places though, so before it’s all said and done, they’ll probably get him a new stadium, too. They will let the taxpayers of Atlanta and Georgia pay for it. Always thinking of the little guy ain’t they?

Dusty

February 6th, 2012
4:26 pm

DannyX 4:11

Blaming Bush for Obama’s failure is so passe’. I mean over three years passe’ !! And you are still trying to short change Bush for Obama’s deficiencies.

Won’t work, honey. We know who’s been running Washington for three years and surprise!! It is NOT Bush. It is NOT Republicans. But we will fix that shortly.

carlosgvv

February 6th, 2012
4:29 pm

And yet, their stadium is know as the Lucas Oil Stadium. Imagine the tremendous amount of advertising this company has already gotten from The Super Bowl, not the mention their brand name being constantly displayed for many years to come. So, why is the public having to pay so much? Shouldn’t this oil company pony up the difference? Are the politicians in Indiania owned by Big Business as they are in Georgia?

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
4:30 pm

Out of all the teams in Atlanta only one team has ever won a championship.

You forgot the Atlanta Chiefs?

Jefferson

February 6th, 2012
4:34 pm

Alleged…we have a winner !!!!

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
4:37 pm

“You forgot the Atlanta Chiefs?”

Don’t know who they were.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

February 6th, 2012
4:37 pm

Lucas Oil paid millions for the naming rights. Duh.

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
4:39 pm

“Try to get to Turner Field via MARTA.”

I tried that one time and it sucked. I always carpool with people and end up parking in some hotel parking lot with lax security. I’ve actually paid a hotel security officer with a bag of peanuts before.

ByteMe

February 6th, 2012
4:45 pm

Kyle, and the RCA dome was built with public + private money as well (and was torn down to expand their convention center 3 years ago). What’s your point?

MarkV

February 6th, 2012
4:53 pm

Dusty,

I noticed your post repeating the Republican mantra, in your version “ Blaming Bush for Obama’s failure is so passe’. I mean over three years passe’ !”

The problem with that is that it is false. False on two counts. One, you just cannot pretend that the recession, which started during Bush’s term, had not happen. Two, the term “Obama’s failure.” Those two are interrelated. What is Obama’s failure? That he has not corrected the effects of the recession to your satisfaction? Then you are back to what happened before Obama took office. So it is hardly passe’ to talk about it.

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2012
4:53 pm

“You forgot the Atlanta Chiefs?”

Don’t know who they were.

You must be a young’un. :lol:

Linda

February 6th, 2012
5:04 pm

Obama did not bail out nor save the auto industry. Obama added to the culture of entitlements that rewards bad behavior by bailing out 2 failing auto companies. He conducted illegal bankruptcy proceedings, threw the legitimate bondholders under the bus, forced successful dealerships to close, eliminated thousands of jobs & lined the pockets of unions who launder the taxpayer money & donate back to Democrats.

Any person with an TV set or a computer knows how liberals & unions can turn a once-thriving state & multiple communities into ghettos.

The jobs Obama saved will probably cost taxpayers about $1 M each.

DannyX

February 6th, 2012
5:07 pm

“Blaming Bush for Obama’s failure is so passe’. I mean over three years passe’ !! And you are still trying to short change Bush for Obama’s deficiencies.”

Dusty, you talk as if the bailouts came from Obama, you said, “Washington won’t be giving loser bailouts after the next election.” The bailout was signed by Bush, we don’t need an Obama bailout.

Stop talking about Bush? You bring up Bush every time you mention the bailout. I’ll stop bringing up Bush when he hits the campaign trail in support of the Republican candidate, that’s not going to happen is it?

Kamchak

February 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

Football should be played in the open air and on natural grass, but this probably isn’t only about the NFL. The U.S. is trying to win a bid to host The World Cup. In order to be an approved venue, it must be open and have a natural turf.

Jerry Eads

February 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

Glad to see you paying attention to data, Kyle! Now, might you do the same thing for such things as education vouchers and charters? :-)

Jm

February 6th, 2012
5:25 pm

$400 million for a football stadium is a poor use of tax revenue

Btw, Kyle, republicans a re a victim of their own success

They have stopped the Obama insanity and people have already forgotten his stupidity

While obviously a risky and last ditch play, republicans should do possibly take a page from the pats

Let Obama score. Let him pass the stupid bills he wants that people hate. Then they can be repealed if a republican wins.

High risk I know. But if Obama wins we are screwed anyway.

Kamchak

February 6th, 2012
5:31 pm

Jm

February 6th, 2012
5:35 pm

Whatever kam

I wasn’t the one saying things like: “is that what kids call it now?”

You are beyond lame

real john

February 6th, 2012
5:45 pm

100% agree Kyle. Although I think the Falcons are going to receive so much public backlash I don’t think the new stadium will happen.

I respect Arthur Blank for his accomphlishments, but if he wants a new stadium, him and some of his buddies can pay for it. All of these NFL cities are crazy. Blank and his friends just want to show off a new toy.

I personally like the Georgia Dome. The dome was built in 1992, right.

Neyland Stadium where University of Tenn plays was built in 1921. They are doing a major expansion now. Most of the college stadiums are pretty old but have great character and are upgraded every few years. I think most of these stadiums are much more charming and just as nice.

The Georgia Dome is completely fine. Just because Blank and Kasim Reed and their friends want a Super Bowl, doesn’t mean jack s@@@ for the average fan. They just want to show off and Goddell has told them he won’t bring another Super Bowl to ATL without a new stadium.

Screw Goddell, $700 million for 2 weeks of Super Bowl parties equals big loss for ATL taxpayers. I would love a Super Bowl to come to Atlanta, but not that way

Do what??????

February 6th, 2012
5:46 pm

“Is that sexual innuendo?”

There’s your sign. Sport.

Kamchak must have been booted off Bookman’s blog. Too bad.

Twonkeria

February 6th, 2012
5:47 pm

“I have heard no good explanation for why the alleged conservatives running our state would want — immediately after paying off the bonds that financed the Georgia Dome — to sink another $400 million or more…”

Well here’s one: those were 9.5% bonds (ask me how I know), same issuance today would cost about 4%. However I agree we don’t need a second stadium. Just remove the roof from the GA Dome and just pay some homeless guys to pull a tarp over the opening when it rains.

Kamchak

February 6th, 2012
5:48 pm

Kamchak must have been booted off Bookman’s blog. Too bad.

Not yet, but I imagine that you have.

Several times.

Under many nom-de-blogs.

Linda

February 6th, 2012
5:49 pm

Jm, Rather than s@#$%ed, the liberals prefer third-term aborted.