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Friday, August 17, 2018

It’s official: PawSox to move to Worcester - The Boston Globe

Another sucker steps up.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2018 at 10:39 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red soxs

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: August 18, 2018 at 07:13 AM (#5729165)
Wooster.

Stwike him Centurwion!
   2. The Duke Posted: August 18, 2018 at 07:52 AM (#5729172)
Everyone here always says “why give them the money, they’ll never move”. This is why you subsidize. Maybe it’s a bit of a money loser but losing the team is much more of a money loser. And baseball gets another beautiful new stadium!

Atlanta must be kicking itself about now. Team is going to be good for 10 years and all that upside goes to Cobb now.
   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: August 18, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5729200)
It's pronounced "Wister". The letters are just arbitrary starting points.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5729251)
WormSox
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5729260)
This is why you subsidize. Maybe it’s a bit of a money loser but losing the team is much more of a money loser.

If it's a money loser, them leaving is a money gainer.
   6. Bote Man Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5729267)
Maybe it’s a bit of a money loser but losing the team is much more of a money loser.

You can't prove that, Rusty!
   7. QLE Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5729276)
Maybe it’s a bit of a money loser but losing the team is much more of a money loser.


Isn't "sports stadiums have minimal impact on the broader community, and, frequently, a negative impact on their direct neighbors!" one of the rare economic conceits that has been endorsed by all schools of economic thought?
   8. Brian White Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5729303)
Isn't "sports stadiums have minimal impact on the broader community, and, frequently, a negative impact on their direct neighbors!" one of the rare economic conceits that has been endorsed by all schools of economic thought?


I dunno about a negative impact on direct neighbors, but pretty much everyone agrees that financing a new stadium does not provide any sort of return on investment, and any such money is pretty much being thrown away.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5729316)
It's pronounced "Wister". The letters are just arbitrary starting points.
There is no way any actual pronunciation ends with an "r" rather than an "ah."
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5729348)
I really like Worcester. The art museum is fantastic, the Boulevard Diner is a national treasure, and there's an interesting Rome-after-the-fall feel to a town with a ton of grand, majestic buildings and no one walking around in front of them.

I'm amenable to the argument that some towns would benefit from spending on a ballpark, even if it doesn't make strict economic sense. Worcester is the #2 town in Massachusetts and far enough from Boston to be a separate entity. But it doesn't have much of a presence, and is sort of a big mess with nothing positive in it that anyone would notice. Maybe the AAA Sox help bring it into focus. I mean, probably not, but maybe. And I at least see what the civic high muckety-mucks are thinking here.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5729354)
What you really want is for some other city, county, or state to fund a ballpark not too far from you.

looks like Pawtucketers would have to go 35-40 miles northwest to Worcester - for the occasional weekend game attendee, could be a net gain.

Just north of Bergen County, NJ, the Rockland Boulders $60M stadium (Can-Am League) is a nice minor league facility. The former county executive, alas, is now serving time for his role in creation of a stadium that was overwhelmingly opposed by residents because - well, the financial estimates were preposterous, so obviously Rockland taxpayers would be left holding the bag.

Sure enough, the town of Ramapo took in about $800,000 last year while they had an annual debt service from the stadium of $2.4 million. #DOH

Team officials, meanwhile, say they break even.

If you don't live in that town, the ballpark is a home run!
   12. The Duke Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5729360)
That’s exactly how I feel. I pay Fulton county taxes and Cobb county has built me a great new stadium. If I lived in Cobb and was so aggrieved I could move to any number of counties within 20 minute drive. The anger toward public financing has never been clear to me. No one has to willingly suffer the supposed negative consequence so why care ? It’s not like the Feds are doing this to anyone in which case you couldn’t avoid the tax.

Cities the lose teams hate it which is why cities with teams pony up. The studies I read make broad assumptions that may or may not be true (purchase of a baseball ticket is substitution for other entertainment spend) and never study the impact of the cities that lose teams. They put no value on how being a major league city draws jobs.

St. Louis is a classic example. It can’t support a football or basketball team and it’s hockey team has repeatedly been on the verge of leaving over the years. it has a crappy airport with no ability to get anywhere without changing planes. It makes them a second tier choice for companies who are looking to move.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5729364)
If I lived in Cobb and was so aggrieved I could move to any number of counties within 20 minute drive. The anger toward public financing has never been clear to me. No one has to willingly suffer the supposed negative consequence so why care ?

Umm, no. If they raise your taxes, or reduce services to pay for the park, the value of your home goes down. You pay the price even if you move. Otherwise, no one should care if their property taxes double (just move!). But you care very much, just like I do.

They put no value on how being a major league city draws jobs.

Because there's zero evidence this is true. Non "major league cities" like San Antonio and Austin have been kicking the crab out of most MLB cities in terms of job growth. No company relocates to be near a ball park. They do it because of favorable taxes, operating costs, and access to a skilled workforce.

   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5729366)
spend
Not a noun, people.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5729367)
If they raise your taxes, or reduce services to pay for the park, the value of your home goes down.


yes. Cobb County homeowners perhaps should have looked at trying to sell to a baseball fan before the stadium opened and the impact of the cost of said park became apparent. if that fan gladly pays extra, great. but for many, the added tax burden would be a turnoff (particularly when it can be avoided by getting just out of the county).

all that said, is there tangible data on the impact in Georgia, a la my earlier example?
   16. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5729391)
#12: Leaving aside the complete lack of evidence in favor of your position vs. the piles of it against, the supposed benefits of being a "major league" city clearly don't apply to acquiring a minor league team. Worcester scores and highlights won't pop up on the news every night, no tourist is going to come to Worcester to catch their beloved no longer PawSox, no corporation is going to headhunt a new top exec by taking him or her to their suite at the AAA stadium and the residents of Worcester won't swell with pride or embrace each other when the WormSox win the AAA title.

I've lived in a AAA town where a nice new stadium was built to replace the classic old stadium ... all went well enough but it was still "hey, rather than the movies tonight, how about a ball game, we haven't done that yet this year." I would guess that Durham is one of the success stories but, as Snapper suggests, most/all of that is development that would have happened anyway as housing elsewhere in the Research Triangle kept getting more expensive but at least they timed the redevelopment of their downtown well. (Note I don't recall what proportion of that was public financing.)
   17. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: August 18, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5729463)
It's pronounced "Wister". The letters are just arbitrary starting points.
No, no. It's "Whustah".
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2018 at 08:09 PM (#5729472)
at least they timed the redevelopment of their downtown well.

that applies to Newark, NJ as well.

long story short, about 15-20 years ago it was discovered that the Port Authority of NY/NJ was drastically underpaying for the land at the three NY/NJ airports. That entitled the City of Newark to a windfall of something like $30M a year for 20 years (exact numbers not required).

Now, Newark needed that money badly for many reasons. But they securitized the windfall to pay for the majority of construction costs to build the now decade-old Prudential Center - home of the NHL's Devils.

questionable, obviously. but fortuitously, this was right around the time where 40 years of "Newark? Didn't they have riots there in the 1960s?" suddenly no longer was the dominant mindset among the latest young adults (I know several of them who bought houses there, and they didn't give a rat's ass about what grandpa told them about Newark). what they saw was an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a locale with easy rail access to NYC and other infrastructure strengths.

the arena opened as hundreds of millions of dollars wort of higher-end condos, new courthouses, and new university buildings were changing the composition of the city. did the arena CAUSE it? not really, but it didn't hurt. they built a Courtyard Marriott next to the arena, which ho hum except it was the first new hotel in that city in about 40 years. then a boutique hotel opened, then.....

well, half the city is now a lot nicer than old-timers from out of town would ever imagine (same goes for Jersey City). yet even with all that, someone complaining about the spending of $210M on an arena more than a decade ago has a leg to stand on. the good news is that at least it's a matter of discussion. the worst facility are almost all downside.
   19. The Duke Posted: August 18, 2018 at 09:54 PM (#5729518)
Cobb county budget is about $400 million. Braves related outflows are something like 6-8 million. So, no, housing prices are not materially impacted. Further there has been massive investment in this corridor. Some is general economic conditions and some is Braves related.

As for minor league teams my experience is with Kane county and I do think people moved into
That area to have a cheaper professional baseball option.

I have a number of friends in Ohio who have said having a local team was great for their community

As for whether entertainment dollars are fungible, for many they are and for some they are not. Assuming the former is not rigorous analysis.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: August 18, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5729526)
thanks, Duke.
I would say that the annual debt service on stadium/arena bonds is crucial to the relevant size of the city/county/state that issues them.

I'm more skeptical than you overall, but I did ask my question for a reason. Cobb seems large enough that costs from subsidizing a stadium - even if unwise - may not impact quality of life or property values.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 18, 2018 at 10:55 PM (#5729539)
A successful sports team* can make an impact on a town emotionally. The PawSox have been in Pawtucket long enough that I suspect it's a big part of the town's identity. Certainly I can't imagine anyone in the region giving a damn one way or the other about Pawtucket the city without the Sox.

*successful in a marketing sense

That of course does not mean local government and taxpayers should throw away money to keep the club. However, I think a sports team, like museums or parks or any number of other things are worthwhile community investments even if they are financial losers.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: August 18, 2018 at 11:17 PM (#5729548)
12 is just an idiot posting.

The Cardinals stadium deal was ideal, the city paid relatively little into it, and got their money back, while the ownership made a profit quicker than if they would have subsidized the stadium. (there is a reason why ballpark village got built faster than the equivalent concept that was proposed in Texas...that ownership group was still paying for their city sponsored stadium investment) From memory the Giants, which were almost entirely self financed, saw profits faster than any of the public subsidized stadiums, since they weren't forced to payback bonds and had full control on running of the stadium.

St Louis has teams willing to leave them, (football) because the NFL rules make it easy to do that, and on top of that, they are a 25-40 large size city so they are in the range that makes it appealing to leave, and of course makes them appealing to move into(after all the Rams left LA for St Louis....) St Louis would probably be a great basketball city, but it's demographics really would split the Blues and whatever team we get sales in half and there really isn't enough of a population to support both at the same time. At no point in time was there a serious consideration of the Blues leaving, it was a marketing argument made nearly 15 years ago to try and gain more money, it wasn't serious. The real weird thing is the fact that St Louis hasn't been given a soccer team. This is the city that was considered the soccer capital of the U.S. for a number of years, which doesn't have a major team to compete against it, and would easily be the number two mls team in the U.S. in it's first season (and maybe even number one) (and remember I don't even like professional soccer, as I find it slow and boring, with too much focus on avoiding allowing the other team to score, than on trying to score)

As we know around here, sports teams do not create money, they drain money from surrounding industries in the area. So if you have a sports team generating 1 mil in revenue, that money is coming at the expense of restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys etc in the area, it's not being fabricated in the air. Everyone around here knows this truism, but sadly too many people out there do not. You can't fabricate money unless you can increase tourism by the act of having the team, or whatever you want to argue.... and as pointed out above, a minor league team with no history of note, doesn't really create a destination place for tourism.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: August 18, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5729551)
As for whether entertainment dollars are fungible, for many they are and for some they are not. Assuming the former is not rigorous analysis.


It's not rigorous, but it's pretty obvious, and it falls on the side of those pretending otherwise to produce the evidence... Money is and has always been spent based upon what is available on hand up to a certain level of wealth.... that money is going to exist within any community no matter what, whether it goes to higher quality groceries, movies, sports etc... doesn't really change, and to claim different, puts the onus on the person making the claim that is against common sense and logic.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: August 18, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5729552)
Note: I don't have a problem with the prestige argument of having a team, in fact I've made it before, but that is not really an issue with a minor league city being asked to more or less cough up it's entire city budget to help a business just to make the claim of a franchise.
   25. QLE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 05:19 AM (#5729568)
I dunno about a negative impact on direct neighbors


I was thinking about it in the way that is being debated elsewhere- the sense that there is only going to be so much spent on entertainment, and that money spent at the new stadium/arena won't be spent in area bars, restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other places of entertainment.

St. Louis is a classic example. It can’t support a football or basketball team and it’s hockey team has repeatedly been on the verge of leaving over the years. it has a crappy airport with no ability to get anywhere without changing planes. It makes them a second tier choice for companies who are looking to move.


The problem with this argument is that it seems to be assuming that the decline of St. Louis is because the sports teams left- a better argument is that the factors discouraging development in St. Louis are the same or similar to those which are encouraging the sports teams to move, and that the sports teams staying put wouldn't have mattered at all in terms of these factors.

Moreover, I don't think that these points would be controversial- if we look at the beginnings of relocation in the 1950s, it tended to reflect communities in decline, either in terms of specific neighborhood decline (as with the Giants and Dodgers), or cities no longer able to feasibly support two major league teams (as with the Browns, As, and Braves). No one would argue in historical terms that those cities became less important solely because the teams left, and that demonstrates how it isn't a workable argument for present-day conditions.

Non "major league cities" like San Antonio and Austin have been kicking the crab out of most MLB cities in terms of job growth.


For that matter (and following up with my point above), the relocation of sports teams in many cases is one reflecting the growth of an area, rather than a cause- for instance, my home town's drawing of sports teams since the early 1980s (the NBA, AAA-level baseball) reflects massive population growth that made it a tempting market, and the sports teams had no role whatsoever in that being the case.


I have a number of friends in Ohio who have said having a local team was great for their community


Did they have any actual evidence, or is this the same line of thought that worships the grit of David Eckstein?
   26. dlf Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5729640)
There has been a good bit in the Atlanta news about the hard times that restaurants and bars in Marietta, Roswell, Kennesaw and other areas in Cobb county are facing. WFF just moved the entertainment dollars down the street; it didn't generate new income for the region. And the property owners agreed, voting out the commissioners who steamrolled the project through.

...

What you really want is for some other city, county, or state to fund a ballpark not too far from you.


I live 15-20 minutes from the new AAA park in Gwinnett, but just on the other side of the county line. So I get the benefit without the tax burden. Yea me!

...

The departure of the PawSox saddens me a little but for silly reasons.

Back in the late 80s, I was trying to visit my brother when he was in school in Providence. Pre-GPS, I managed to get turned around and was driving semi-aimlessly when I came across the Pawtucket Stadium. Being an obsessive baseball fan let me know I had somehow ended up in the wrong State.

The only game I saw there was a couple years earlier when a friend and I were driving from NYC to Boston, got off the highway for gas and decided we were going to drive by. The lights were on so we went in. It was two local high school teams, but it was a fun diversion.
   27. The Duke Posted: August 19, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5729863)
Admittedly a few months old but here’s what’s really happening for with Cobb county housing. Not what you read up above

https://www.mdjonline.com/cobb_business_journal/cobb-s-housing-market-hits-new-highs-but-inventory-an/article_193b1340-4f01-11e8-bde6-8f0ba33b3cce.html
   28. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 19, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5729882)
This will be the first affiliated minor-league team in Worcester since 1934, when the Worcester Rosebuds played in the Class B Northeastern League. (The Worcester Tornadoes played in the independent Can-Am League from 2005-12.)
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5729918)
Back in the late 80s, I was trying to visit my brother when he was in school in Providence. Pre-GPS, I managed to get turned around and was driving semi-aimlessly when I came across the Pawtucket Stadium. Being an obsessive baseball fan let me know I had somehow ended up in the wrong State.


What Providence were you looking for?
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5729967)
thanks for the 27 link

appears to have zero to do with the ballpark, but good for Cobb County
   31. dlf Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5729975)
#27 & #30 - Those need to be viewed in light of housing starts and inventory issues in the housing industry as a whole. Housing starts are up in what the census bureau deems to be the South significantly. From 2016 to 2017, the monthly average went up from 594,500 to 626,900 and using year to date figures to adjust for the seasonal effects in the industry, up from 365,900 in 2017 to 399,800 in 2018. I'd be leery to assume that the construction of WFF in Cobb increased housing demand in Knoxville, Charlotte or Jackson. Warning: pdf And more bluntly, proponents of public funding for new stadia have been guilty of providing misleading data that virtually 100% of economists reject.

What Providence were you looking for?


RI
   32. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:35 AM (#5730046)
And more bluntly, proponents of public funding for new stadia have been guilty of providing misleading data that virtually 100% of economists reject.

That would be the territory of the tried-and-true "economic impact studies," those laughable works of fiction where gigantic numbers are created from whole cloth by consultants paid to tell star-struck politicians that building a sports stadium will be great for the city. Using inflated "multipliers" and wishcasting away those pesky real-world details like substitution effect and opportunity cost, they routinely generate numbers where my rule of thumb is to take the purported "economic impact" and divide by 10 to get closer to the real effect. An economic impact consultant who tells a client city, "You know, maybe you should spend the $100,000,000 on something else instead or just NOT SPEND IT AT ALL" is an economic impact consultant who isn't going to be in the economic impact consultancy business for very long.

Or as the John Locke Foundation puts it, "Economic Impact Studies: The Missing Ingredient Is Economics"
   33. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 06:51 AM (#5730057)
What Providence were you looking for?


RI

Then I guess we should ask what Pawtucket you ended up in?
   34. The Duke Posted: August 20, 2018 at 08:26 AM (#5730069)
My point in posting the article is to rebut the knee jerk view that somehow Braves property tax burden, which is small, has had some impact on house prices. It clearly has not. The reality is that all the whining about this stuff is a classic case of virtue - signaling, “look how woke I am”.

In the real world, municipalities are having to make tough decisions every day about how to attract people and businesses to their town. The economic studies that rebut public spending for stadiums are plenty biased. Most of those “researchers” start with a view and then design a study to corroborate it. Most science is like that as we are finding out every day on matters large and small. Anyone who has worked in an industry subject to this radicalism like the BPA - free craze, will recognize the signs.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5730083)
Worcester had an NL team from 1880-1882.

Too bad they didn't stick with "Ruby Legs". That name would actually be fitting for a Red Sox affiliate. They played at an Agricultural Fairground close to where Becker College is now.
   36. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5730089)
The reality is that all the whining about this stuff is a classic case of virtue - signaling, “look how woke I am”.

Well this is silly. I don't see how opposing public spending for a niche of the entertainment industry labels one as "woke" or has anything to do with the social issues you condescend to.

If you have substantive policy arguments at your disposal, use them. For instance, Tom Boswell wrote a few years ago about how Nationals Stadium has revitalized that part of DC:

The concept of revitalizing a desolate portion of Southeast predated the arrival of the Nats from Montreal. But the controversial ballpark, which cost D.C. taxpayers $670 million, was always envisioned as a prime economic engine. It worked, with the Nats a key part of the synergy.
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5730094)
Most of those “researchers” start with a view and then design a study to corroborate it. Most science is like that as we are finding out every day on matters large and small.


That's why I stick with homeopathy and healing crystals instead of "science".

Also Worcester seems like a real dump the few times I've had to drive through there.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5730095)
The reality is that all the whining about this stuff is a classic case of virtue - signaling, “look how woke I am”.

BS. I'm as conservative as you get on this site, and not "woke" at all.

I don't want a single dollar of my tax money going to subsidize any private business. It's an abusive waste of taxpayer money.
   39. Greg Pope Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5730189)
I really like Worcester. The art museum is fantastic, the Boulevard Diner is a national treasure, and there's an interesting Rome-after-the-fall feel to a town with a ton of grand, majestic buildings and no one walking around in front of them.

Is this serious or a joke? The wife and I are going to be in Worcester for one night in October. Should I eat at the Diner and take in the museum?
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5730203)
btw, the idea that questioning taxpayer subsidies for private entities is a "progressive" idea is.... well, bizarre (not that progressives might not oppose it as well).

could this be the Worcester ballpark deal ever?
"Earlier this summer, the state of Rhode Island rejected a request by the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox to fund a new stadium in Pawtucket. On Friday, the team owners announced their decision: They will be moving the franchise to Worcester, which will build a new stadium with public funds that the team will be repaying with rent and other team-related revenues, in a major win for the Massachusetts city.

All of that previous paragraph was reported in various media over the weekend. Virtually none of it is 100% true."

"That brings the total public subsidy to at least $105.6 million, and possibly closer to $120 million if those rent payments are actual dollar amounts on the team owners’ checks. Either way, I’m pretty sure that this would be easily the largest public subsidy for any minor-league baseball team ever."
   41. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5730205)
Going to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette here's what they list as the cost:

stadium: $86-90 million
private development of neighborhood (phase 1): $90 million
local infrastructure improvements (roads, housing): $35 million
private development of neighborhood (phase 2): $25 million (backed into this from overall cost)
total cost: $240 million

And the initial funding:

team: $6 million "equity contribution" for the stadium
Massachusetts: $35 million (for local infrastructure improvements)
Worcester: $100.5 million in bonding
private developers: $98.5 million (also backed into; I'm assuming Worcester is paying for land acquisition, which might be the difference between development cost and development funding)

And about covering for that $100.5 million in bonding:

$30.2 million in rent payments over 30 years
$X million in increased property tax (from increased valuation)
$Y million in increased parking revenue
$Z million in advertising, hotel taxes, lease payments, ballpark taxes

Right now the property tax on the parcel slated for private development in phase 1 - not the stadium parcel - is under $30k per year. (Assessed at $847,800, mill rate of $34.03.) At 10.9 acres that's around $2,650 per acre. Let's say all they managed for development was a bunch of places like, oh, this dingy place* a few blocks away. That actual Worcester restaurant is taxed at $85,250 per acre. Do that across the entire parcel and that's $900k in additional property tax revenue (at current mill rate). Let's say that some of that is "stolen" from other properties - meaning that an increase in property values here also drops property values elsewhere in the city - and they really only see $500k in additional property tax revenue. So that's another $15 million in property taxes over 30 years.

If they manage to develop a generic hotel - say, something like a Hilton Garden Inn with an attached restaurant - that alone would generate $500k in additional property tax per acre, or $5.4 million if they can manage that level of development across the entire parcel. If some of that is "stolen" from elsewhere in the city maybe it's only $3 million instead of $5.4 million. That works out to $90 million in additional property tax revenue over 30 years.

So let's say they manage to develop a hotel, a bunch of dingy places, and a few things in between, and net out to $1,250,000 in additional property tax after the "stolen" haircut. That's $37.5 million over 30 years. Let's also say nothing else develops in the neighborhood (including no additional rise in valuation for existing properties), and furthermore that any other future development in Worcester "steals" from these properties, meaning that it ends up being really only $20 million over 30 years.

So if $X is $20 million, then $Y + $Z must be around $50 million. $Y probably isn't getting above $6 million in 30 years, not counting stadium naming rights which are probably in the $7.5 million neighborhood. That leaves $36.5 million, or a little more than $1.2 million per year, for $Z. That would require, let's say, $4 per ticket (70 home games, 4300 average attendance = 301k tickets, and that attendance level would be near the bottom of the league). Advertising won't be on a per-ticket basis, nor will lease payments; but that's the rough per-ticket load on top of whatever they'd otherwise want to charge to turn a profit. That seems doable. Leasing for concessions vendors might get you $2; taxes might get 30 cents; and then put the average ticket price at $13.70 instead of $12 to cover the rest. If you sell more tickets than bottom-of-the-league, then it's easier.

One might say, wait, but that $100.5 million needs interest payments for 30 years, too. Actually, per the T&G article the bonding includes "capitalized interest and borrowing costs", which means they're borrowing enough to cover both the money they need for the project and the present value of the interest payments. The $100.5 million includes the interest cost.

I don't know about any claims of being an economic boon to the city, but the notion that this project could pay for itself doesn't seem too far-fetched after poking at the numbers for a little bit.

* Yes, I have eaten there. You're not missing anything.

Also Worcester seems like a real dump the few times I've had to drive through there.
Much of it is a real dump, especially anything east of I-290 that isn't the Holy Cross campus. But it's gentrifying rapidly now that the commuter rail to Boston extends out there and rents have gotten absurd in Boston.
   42. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5730208)
well, half the city is now a lot nicer than old-timers from out of town would ever imagine (same goes for Jersey City). yet even with all that, someone complaining about the spending of $210M on an arena more than a decade ago has a leg to stand on. the good news is that at least it's a matter of discussion. the worst facility are almost all downside.

I think the answer is right there. Jersey City has done just fine without the stadiums/arena. Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark are all on the PATH line and the growth has come as NY real estate got expensive and New Jersey was cheaper.

Having Prudential (the company) in Newark is much more important than the Prudential Center or the Red Bull Arena.

No one talks about the 200 days + they sit empty.
   43. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5730217)
The concept of revitalizing a desolate portion of Southeast predated the arrival of the Nats from Montreal. But the controversial ballpark, which cost D.C. taxpayers $670 million, was always envisioned as a prime economic engine. It worked, with the Nats a key part of the synergy.

This seems rather specious as an argument. He is comparing it to what if they did nothing. If they had built a park, while improving transport, they could have spent less and gotten more. The ballpark is open 80-90 days a year, then sits empty. Looks like Washington could use that money now to fix the subway.
   44. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5730218)
Note that in all the math and such, I'm not saying there aren't 1000 better ways for Worcester to spend money than this. I'm just saying the math of "self-funding" might actually work in this case. That's a much lower bar than most projects, which claim an economic benefit of gajillions of dollars. "Self-funding" sets the bar at $0.
   45. Jay Seaver Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5730223)
Is this serious or a joke? The wife and I are going to be in Worcester for one night in October. Should I eat at the Diner and take in the museum?

I went to college there twenty years ago and haven't been especially keen to go back since, as there is really Not Much There At All. That said, the WAM is considered to be pretty terrific for a small city, presumably even more so now that it's absorbed the Higgins Armory collection, and if you like diners, it's kind of cool to eat in a Miss Worcester in Worcester.

You can kill a day there fine. I don't recommend spending four years there.
   46. RoyalFlush Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5730247)
Kansas City debated a downtown stadium twenty years ago and are about to undergo the same debate again. It wasn't the public financing that bothered people twenty years ago - it was the move downtown.

Back then, I favored a move downtown because I thought a new stadium would help revitalize what WAS a horrible downtown. Twenty years later, downtown KC is thriving (with the help of other tax payer-financed projects like an arena and street car) without baseball. In the end - knowing KC - it won't be an issue of yes/no to public funds. It will be an issue of where to spend.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5730261)
Welcome to BTF RoyalFlush.

   48. dlf Posted: August 20, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5730275)
Then I guess we should ask what Pawtucket you ended up in?


Apparently proof that after ~30 years, I should just ignore my memory in favor of looking up facts. Damnit. :(

On the other hand, this leads back into the stadium funding issue ... some rely on facts, others wishcast those away by claiming bias.

   49. RoyalFlush Posted: August 20, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5730287)
Welcome to BTF RoyalFlush.


Thank you!
   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5730346)
This seems rather specious as an argument. He is comparing it to what if they did nothing. If they had built a park, while improving transport, they could have spent less and gotten more. The ballpark is open 80-90 days a year, then sits empty. Looks like Washington could use that money now to fix the subway.

Washington, D.C. is a bit different than most publicly-funded stadium situations. Nationals Park functions as a de facto commuter tax, drawing in suburbanites who wouldn't otherwise be spending much of their entertainment dollars in DC, and heavily taxing each transaction. One survey a few years ago had 60%+ of the fans coming from Northern Virginia, with at 20%+ coming from suburban Maryland, IIRC. Seems to have worked out pretty well, even if some of the development was delayed by the recession. You can currently see 7 giant construction cranes beyond the outfield walls working on large projects in progress.

That money wouldn't really be available for the subway, where much of the problem is funding disputes between DC, MD & VA, as well as rather lax oversight of operations.

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