The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

BARRIE MCKENNA OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015 4:41PM EDT

Source: The losing game of publicly financed sports venues – The Globe and Mail

The people of Quebec City and Edmonton are falling prey to one of the oldest con games – the notion that spending public money on pro sports venues is a sound investment.

Facts don’t seem to matter in this game. And your city could be fleeced next.

Stacks of independent research over many decades have shown that building a stadium or luring a new franchise does little for a city’s economy. They typically don’t generate significant new tax dollars, jobs or growth. In most cases, the money would be more wisely spent on badly needed public infrastructure, such as roads, transit or schools

Seattle Council rejects multi-purpose arena

Seattle Councilors voting against a new arena said “that financial arguments had swayed them. They said that giving over city resources for the project ….  made the arena terms questionable” [N.Y. Times, May 7, 2016]

“Reasonable people may disagree with their vote, but these council members were fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to Seattle residents and acting in good faith”.  [Seattle Times, Letters to the Editor, May 5, 2016]

Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

While city officials say that Calgary does indeed need a new arena, they’ve found that the CalgaryNEXT proposal may not be the way to go.

Source: Council grounds CalgaryNEXT proposal

The Flames proposed arena in the West Village was poorly conceived and amateurishly presented.  The financial projections were dubious from the start and the site selection ill advised.

(The report to Council may be seen here.)

 

Survey says Calgarians not in favour of CalgaryNEXT | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Source: Survey says Calgarians not in favour of CalgaryNEXT | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

The answer would be 100% NO if the survey question was “Would you pay $4,000 per taxpayer for a new proposed Flames arena?”

Leave urban planning to the experts at the City.  The Flames should stick to hockey and making the playoffs (asking for a Stanley Cup would be too much to ask of this bunch).

Wildrose suggests province should stay on fringe of CalgaryNext proposal | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Source: Wildrose suggests province should stay on fringe of CalgaryNext proposal | News Talk 770 (CHQR)

Opposed, maybe?  This is a bit of prevaricating by wild Rose.  Com’ on guys, you’re either for it or against it!

Economists say subsidies (tax dollars) for arenas not justified

“The evidence reveals a great deal of consistency among economists doing research in this area. That evidence is that sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates. The paper also relates survey evidence showing that economists in general oppose sports subsidies.”

http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/CoatesHumphreys_LitReview.pdf

Nenshi to Bettman’s push of CalgaryNEXT: “that’s not how we operate” – 660 NEWS

Calgary’s mayor is standing firm on the City’s review of the CalgaryNEXT project, after the NHL commissioner gave a presentation urging the local government to embrace it. Gary Bettman told a Calgary Chamber of Commerce audience the project needs to happen, noting the Flames will be in the oldest NHL arena by 2017 and won’t […]

Source: Nenshi to Bettman’s push of CalgaryNEXT: “that’s not how we operate” – 660 NEWS

Good to see the Mayor is taking a practical approach to a very poorly thought out proposal for a new arena.

Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Early analysis suggests using a $200-million community revitalization levy to partially bankroll the Calgary Flames group’s mega sports complex in west downtown won’t work, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a recent year-end interview.  This summer, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. pitched an ambitious plan to build a new NHL arena, CFL stadium and public field…

Source: Nenshi says revitalization levy for CalgaryNEXT project won’t work

Flames’ $890-million CalgaryNEXT proposal ‘not even half baked,’ says Nenshi

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says council has a duty to carefully scrutinize the Flames’ “half-baked” proposal to build an $890-million sports complex in the West Village. On Monday, the mayor’s office was set to present a report to council that suggested a multi-phase analysis of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. proposal for a new NHL arena,…

Source: Flames’ $890-million CalgaryNEXT proposal ‘not even half baked,’ says Nenshi

Councilor Farrell notes that when all costs are considered, this is more likely to cost $1.5 BILLION.  Given our experience with cost estimates for public works, I have no doubt we are looking at an ultimate cost of $2 Billion, and you know it will be the Calgary taxpayer bearing this.

Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post

Scott Stinson: That’s the problem with arenas, in sum: they attract money, but only money that would have been spent locally anyway

Source: Calgary Flames’ proposed arena could be another example of why public funding doesn’t equal public benefit | National Post

National Post View: The Flames’ rotten idea | National Post

If Calgary has this kind of money sloshing around, we can think of any number of uses for it that would more nearly meet the public benefit test than subsidizing the profits of the Flames owners.

Source: National Post View: The Flames’ rotten idea | National Post

MacPherson & Bateman: How a small B.C. town got the Calgary Flames hooked on corporate welfare

Giving hundreds of millions to a wealthy sports franchise for a for-profit development doesn’t make sense — especially in Alberta

Source: MacPherson & Bateman: How a small B.C. town got the Calgary Flames hooked on corporate welfare

White: Do we really need to develop West Village?

When Calgary Sports and Entertainment Group announced its preferred location for its CalgaryNEXT project of an arena/stadium/fieldhouse was West Village, many Calgarians exclaimed, “Where’s that?” It is the land west of 14th Street S.W., north of the CPR tracks, south of the Bow River and east of Crowchild Trail. The name was given to the area…

Source: White: Do we really need to develop West Village?

“There is no way the CRL [Community Revitalization Levy (aka TAX)] can pay for both infrastructure improvements and share of the arena and stadium costs as proposal by CalgaryNEXT.”