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When The Public Funds Sports Stadiums, Fans Win, Taxpayers Lose

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York View image | gettyimages.com When the Cubs made the final out last week in Chicago, long-suffering Mets fans back home were ecstatic. The line for Modell’s Sporting Goods in Plainview stretched across the shopping center parking lot as people waited after midnight for the chance to commemorate the newly won National League pennant by buying an official baseball hat for $35 or a jersey for $110—a World Series patch raised the retail price an additional $15.Sports always have an interesting effect on people’s judgment. All one has to do is look at Mineola’s efforts to convince themselves that the New York Islanders will come back. Whether it’s a local government financing a $900 million stadium or fans buying hundreds of dollars of souvenir memorabilia, professional athletics have a funny way of convincing people to spend their money when they know they’re getting hosed.The Mets, for this season at least, are New York’s team. So goes the fortunes of ball clubs: when you’re on top, you’re the king. When you lose, fans want to throw the bums out and bring in new blood. Somewhere, Yankees fans are counting their 27 championship rings while they wait for next season.This passion for the home team runs deep – local sports franchises know it, as do the municipal governments that house these teams. The logic is that voters love their teams – and any politician who loses a franchise will rue the day the club packs their bags and leaves town. It is with this knowledge that sports organizations negotiate for new stadiums, arenas and ball parks.Trying to cater to professional teams isn’t exclusive to Mineola, for even relatively level-headed policymakers succumb to sports madness. Before leaving office in 2002, Mayor Rudy Giuliani doggedly tried to push through a flawed $1.6 billion plan for two new stadiums in New York City. The New York Times editorial board said the mayor’s emotional attachment to baseball had “warped his judgment.” The proposal was axed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who eventually floated his own eventually successful proposals to replace both aging venues.Locations for a new Yankee Stadium were debated, but the site selection for Shea’s replacement was easy for the Mets. They could build their new monument to America’s pastime in as much of a convenient spot as you can get: the parking lot next to their existing stadium.Both New York complexes have transit and highway options, which helps determine the geographic concentration of fandom. The better the access, the more fans see baseball—an asset for any team to get people to the game, and revenue into their coffers.Source: NYC IBOThe access theory holds, because the New York demographics of New York fandom tell who, exactly, these stadiums cater to. In a 1998 report by the city’s Independent Budget Office, the authors “attended games at each stadium and asked about 1,000 attendees at each game for their zip codes.”  The breakdown is a bit enlightening:Not surprisingly, Long Island was the principal home of Mets fans for those particular games, while the Yankees can thank New Jersey and Manhattan for the fannies filling their stands, thus lending merit to the argument that easier access can drive fandom.The geographic trends found in IBO’s 1998 report were further supported from more recent (and comprehensive) data released by Facebook in 2014, which measured MLB fandom by the number of people’s LIKES on each team’s page. While the Mets are the talk of the town these days, the disparity between Facebook users who showed a preference for the Yankees outnumbered those who liked the Mets almost 3 to 1.As the Times wrote in their data analysis: “The Yankees are the preferred team everywhere in New York City, and nearly everywhere in the U.S. over the Mets (in more than 98 percent of ZIP codes nationwide).”What all this data means is that stadium policy doesn’t necessarily cater to the residents that city officials and sports teams always assume it does, nor do the suggested economics bring in the out-of-region revenue assumed. Sports franchises always state that these stadiums will benefit their particular city itself, when in reality, wealthier suburbanites reap the benefits of the increased transit availability and associated stadium amenities.While detailed analysis has been conducted by IBO concerning both the economics of Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium, the findings are almost the same: “…findings from econometric studies across the nation consistently agree: taken together, baseball teams and stadiums do not spur economic growth in a metropolitan area.” While IBO found that stadiums aren’t the economic powerhouses they are touted to be, the group did mention that integrating restaurants and retail into stadium neighborhoods would have a positive fiscal impact. Only a comprehensive approach to development would extract the maximum economic potential of a newly constructed stadium. Smart development in these areas would not only keep visitors in the area longer on game day, but during the offseason as well.If executed correctly, these areas could help bolster the ball parks in order to bring newfound economic prosperity. But it’s an uphill battle, whose odds of successful implementation hinge on the strength of the regional economy. The problem, of course, is one of coordination. How would a development at Willets Point interact with one of the many projects being built in Nassau or Suffolk County?As Long Islanders and Queens residents pour into Citi Field to watch the Mets take on the Royals, city officials should understand that the economics of sports isn’t always a home run. After the city invests hundreds of millions of dollars into the Bronx and Queens for improved transit access, demolition of both old stadiums, the foundations of the new ball parks, and in the case of Yankee Stadium, relocation of displaced parkland, is it worth it for the typical New York City resident?To the thousands of suburbanites who fill the stands, and afterwards leave the area by car or train, it doesn’t matter, for they reaped the benefits of that sizeable public investment…all while wearing a $35 hat.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin presented three new standards

first_imgGenerator of continental tourism in Međimurje County and its surroundings, LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin are now proud of the fact that they can add Meetings, Congress and Bike Hotel standards to the already adopted standards.In addition to continuously presenting the adopted novelties from health tourism to visitors, three more standards can now be added to the list: Bike, Congress and Meetings Hotel.Thus, Hotel Spa Golfer 4 * is the first hotel in continental Croatia to adopt a standard Bike Hotel. This guarantees visitors a high level of service quality, and provides a rich cycling infrastructure with as many as 700 kilometers of landscaped bike paths. In addition to the Bike Hotel, Terme has adopted two additional standards: Meetings Hotel and Congress Hotel.Photo: LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin”The special standards we received give us and the guests some good information. For us, it is a confirmation that everything we have done so far in terms of creating quality for congress guests, as well as for our cyclists, has grown into a quality product and service that is eventually recognized and awarded special standards. It is a recognizable seal of quality for the guests because they know that they are safe in our hands and that they will receive a high level of service. We are very honored to be the first in Croatia to receive a special standard for a Bike hotel because it is an item on which we build our story of activity and healthy living. pointed out the director of hotel operations Jelena BerečićThis completes the entire offer – gastronomy, wellness, health, congress, bathing and sports tourism are located in a single point – LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin.last_img read more

ODI series bowls off today in Antigua … Windies hoping for bright start against fifth-ranked England

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – West Indies will attempt to turn the page on their recent ordinary form and make a bright start to their first series of the year, when they take on favourites England in the first One-Day International of a three-match tour here today.The Caribbean side enter the contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium with a pretty dismal record in recent months, with just a single win in their last seven outings and four in 14 ODIs last year.Not surprisingly, they lie ninth in the ICC one-day rankings, a factor that caused them to miss out for the first time on qualification for this year’s Champions Trophy.In contrast, England are ranked fifth, and arrive in the Caribbean with just four defeats in their last 16 outings. They will also be seeking to reinforce their recent dominance over West Indies which has seen them win every bilateral series over the last 10 years.West Indies captain Jason Holder told reporters here yesterday that while there was a gap between the two teams, his side would be focused on executing and making consistent steps forward, as they seek to rebuild.“They are ranked higher than we. We’ve obviously got some way to go in terms of catching up and going up in the rankings,” Holder pointed out.“We just want to tick off our process boxes in terms of what we set out to achieve as a group. Our main thing is to be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past and I think once we do that we could be moving in the right direction.”He continued: “We’re taking it game by game. I think it is important we deal with England first (rather than think too far ahead). It’s our first series of the year, they are coming off a tough series in India as well, so they will be looking to improve their performances from their last series and likewise we will be looking to do the same.”Holder said the series against England would mark a reset for West Indies, as the side attempted to put the recent disappointments behind them, especially in the wake of the Champions Trophy debacle.And with the 2019 World Cup looming in the distance, the 25-year-old all-rounder said his unit were aware of the need to string together strong performances but stressed the process began with a productive outing against the English.“We’re not in the Champions Trophy (but) it gives us more time to reflect, gives us more time to get things in order in moving forward and then we look obviously towards the World Cup,” he explained.“We need to qualify for the World Cup and it’s our goal to qualify for the World Cup but we have to take it stage by stage and our first engagement is England.”Still grappling with the abrupt firing of their coach Phil Simmons, West Indies were swept 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last October.They also struggled the following month during the Tri-Nations campaign in Zimbabwe which also involved Sri Lanka, winning their first game convincingly but then bizarrely managing a tie and two narrow defeats in their remaining games, to be eliminated.Holder put the Tri-Nations struggles down to inexperience and said this could be only addressed by continuing to play together a unit.“We had some new faces coming on to the end of last year in our series in Zimbabwe. I thought we had a pretty decent series,” he noted.“I think one of the major factors which hurt us probably was the inexperience and it’s just a situation where the more cricket we play together, I think the better we become.”For all of the Windies’ one-day woes, just under a year ago they were celebrating their second capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India.Ironically, it was England who suffered their wrath in the final and even though the achievement remained a poignant one, Holder said it was time to scale new heights especially in the other formats.“It’s gone. We’ve obviously celebrated that. It was a wonderful achievement that happened a while back now so it’s important for us to move on, not dwell on it,” stressed Holder.“Obviously not forget it but we need to move on and understand that we need to improve our positioning in the rankings, in ODI cricket first and obviously Test cricket.”What West Indies lack in experience, they will make up for in talent, with the likes of Evin Lewis, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Alzarri Joseph – all with less than 10 ODIs – included in the 13-man squad.SQUADS:WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope (wkp.), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell.ENGLAND – Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wkp.), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.last_img read more