Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm selfish, I admit it.

So, I was reading semi-frequent commentator El Gran's blog today and I saw that he is anti-public funding for the stadium and hates that people make untrue arguments that baseball will help the city, etc. and wishes someone would come out and say:

"I don't care if it's a bad deal for DC. I want baseball here. Baseball is important to me. If it costs the city tons of money it doesn't bother me, because I'll gain a lot from having a team here and I won't be cognizant of where the money was being lost from anyway"

Well, I'll go you one further Gran. I live in Northern Virginia, probably 10 minutes from where the NoVa stadium was proposed to be. I was soooooo against that. Well, for one, my only altruistic reason: baseball belongs in DC, not the suburbs. But, frankly, I didn't want my commute affected. I didn't want my taxes affected. I didn't want the horrendous economic results/neighborhood blight in my neck of the woods (even if that scenario was supposedly going to be more private funding, they would have found a way to get a bunch of public funds). There I've said it. Everyone with any business/economics education knows that bringing teams in and paying for stadiums with public funds is an economy killer and sucks for the locals. But now, I get a baseball team nearby that I can love from the start...and I don't have to pay anything more than the price of my ticket.

You want honesty? You've got it.


At 6:20 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...


Ummm, those season tickets that we'll be sharing? It turns out that you'll be paying DC taxes on those. And the beers and hot dogs you'll be buying? DC taxes, too. And the parking? And the bar you visit to meet up with me and Don Money before a game? Turns out they'll be DC taxes on that, too.

As a matter of fact, one of the highly beneficial aspects of this deal is that the tax revenue used to finance it largely will come from the NoVa and MD commuters who go to games but otherwise avoid DC taxes. In this regard, DC is externalizing the cost of the stadium on Maryland and Virginia. In the aggregate, since you'll have season tickets, your taxes will be affected more than the average DC resident.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

And another thing - I think that it's true that baseball stadiums make sense economically such that they could be built privately. Peter McGowan did it in San Francisco (for the most part). But it's almost impossible for an owner to capture all of the economic benefits created by a stadium to make the return on the investment worthwhile.

Now you've forced me to post on this. Damn it. I'm going to have to prove to you why this is a net benefit for DC.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger El Gran Color Naranja said...

Good luck with that, Liz Phair song. Back in the day, I thought it would be potentially good, too, if done right but my research couldn't come up with anything, not that I'm an economist or anything. The best analysis online that I could find of any stadium is this one on Camdem Yards:


I think the conclusion is "maybe it's good. Depends how much the public likes it". And that what I consider a favorable analysis of the "success" story.

DC is different as it's going to get more from out of "state" than Baltimore, but it's also going to have a larger burden of cost.


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