Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fort Wayne Politicians Obsession with a Stadium

Fort Wayne is considering a Baseball stadium downtown. Many think this will spur economic development, is this realistic? Let’s take a look at a $10 million price tag to build a stadium. If we think this will bring people down town to spend money such as staying over night in a hotel, just how many people are we talking about?

$10 million with a hotel tax of 10% would require at a very minimum, $100 million in sales. If the hotel costs $100 a night, we are talking about 1 million visitors who stay one night. If the stadium holds 5,000 people, then it will take 200 games to reach this. How many games are played in Fort Wayne (10 a year)? But then how many of the 5,000 would stay over night? It is doubtful that 300 would come from out of town far enough away to stay. In this case we are looking at over 3,300 games or 330 years.

Ok so its pretty easy to see that simply basing it off hotel occupancy will not justify the cost, how about meals at restaurants? Let us assume $25 per person per meal. I believe the meal tax is 7% and Fort Wayne does not get all of this. Now we need 5,714,286 additional customers who were not already eating out in the Fort Wayne area to justify this.

Let us face reality. Families live on a fixed income. They simply cannot increase spending unless there is an increase in income. If the City of Fort Wayne thinks people will spend more, where will this income come from? Will it come from an already reduced savings rate? Will it come from cutting back on other activities in the Fort Wayne area (rob Peter so that Paul can have customers)?

Is it realistic that Fort Wayne can increase its economic sales by over $100 Million by simply building a stadium? If it were that easy, why not build more than one? Why would we not see all cities building stadiums? Building a stadium with tax dollars is a waste of money. Fort Wayne already has taxes that are too high. Building a stadium will saddle our children with debt that is not justified.


At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Jeff Pruitt said...

They CANNOT build a stadium for $10 Million - that is a flat out lie being used to distort what the real cost of the project would be.

Springdale, AR just built a brand new minor league baseball stadium and the pricetag was $50 Million. This was a nice stadium but does anyone believe that we will do it for 1/5th that cost?

At 7:25 AM, Blogger William Larsen said...

Jeff, at $50 million, it makes the entire question easier to answer. It just plain obvious building a baseball stadium will never generate $500 million in additional new sales. What you will get at the very most is $500 million in sales shifted from current business to "stadium" related business, making any tax breaks to get the original business obsolete and worthless.

I take it you do not support the stadium either?

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Jeff Pruitt said...

Not only do I not support the stadium, but also will not support any politician that supports the stadium...

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Bob G. said...

I'm with Jeff 100% on this one.

Having a new stadium downtown will NEVER benefit me (living in the quasi-ghetto-esque confines of the southeast part of town), nor will it EVER reduce my ever-increasing property tax (like my house is worth MORE each year...yeah, right...what ARE these politicians smoking???).

Unfortunately, I can hear the murmurings of the "slipshod" brigade gearing up for another "campaign" against the citizenry of this city (well, the TAX-PAYING WORKING CLASS ONES, that is).

Leaving "Dodge" seems just a tad more appealing, under those auspices.


At 8:56 PM, Blogger William Larsen said...

Bob, I agree with you and sympathize with you. WPTA-21 had a new show "Reporters" with three guests speaking about a downtown stadium. One report referenced that there is only a 30% chance that stadiums have a positive affect. We live in a cold climate and those few that have succeeded have been in warmer climates.

No tax payer money should ever be used to subsidize a business venture.

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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