Monday, 24 October 2016

There is a lot of stupid in JAFAland

It is often said that economists don't agree on anything, well that's not quite true. One thing they do agree on is that building sports stadiums is just not worth it.

As Adam M. Zaretsky has put it,
When studying this issue, almost all economists and development specialists (at least those who work independently and not for a chamber of commerce or similar organization) conclude that the rate of return a city or metropolitan area receives for its investment [in stadiums] is generally below that of alternative projects. In addition, evidence suggests that cities and metro areas that have invested heavily in sports stadiums and arenas have, on average, experienced slower income growth than those that have not.
From Suff comes this bit of information:
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is being praised by his Dunedin counterpart for being "realistic" about a billion dollar replacement for Eden Park stadium.

Goff has said that he would rather build a whole new stadium, on Ngati Whatua land next to Vector Arena, than invest an estimated $250 million more on upgrading Eden Park over the next 15 years.
As I have argued many on this blog the economics of sports stadiums are just awful and if Phil Goff really wants to be "realistic" about a new stadium - or an upgrade to Eden Park - he should just say no. The history of Dunedin's controversial Forsyth Barr stadium should act as a case study of the dangers of building stadiums. That stadium has cost Dunedin's ratepayer millions. Auckland has much more important problems to fix, eg the local housing market, than any issues over a sports stadium. Goff would better serve the ratepayers of Auckland by concentrating on such major and real problems than wasting time and money on stadiums.

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