Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Construction Junction

There's a DC City Coucil hearing on the Stadium Construction issue and, according to the Washington Post, over 170 people have signed up to speak, making it one of the largest hearings on record.

I'm a bit squeamish about the economic value of stadium. Everything I've read says they have zero economic impact. And Johns Hopkins Economic Professor Bruce Hamilton even argued that they have negative impact. In the case of Camden Yards, his study found that construction and maintenance costs Maryland residents around $15 per year.

Just in time for today's hearing, the CATO Institute decides to befoul the punchbowl. I'm torn! It's hard to argue with their numbers (and the numbers of so many other economists in so many other areas). But at the same time, I just wanna yell at them to shut up! It seems different this time. It's our team, damnit! But, i guess that's what economics is good at--not letting emotions stand in the way of good facts. *sigh*

Perhaps Hamilton had the best compromise:
"To me, the question is not should we build a stadium because it will
generate economic growth, because it won't. We should say, 'It will cost you $10
to $15 a year to keep the Orioles. Do you want it?' If Maryland voters say yes,
I say fine. I'd probably vote for it on those terms. And if the public votes it
down, let the team go."


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