Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Shocker: Rick Scott Warming Up to Miami Dolphins Stadium Deal

It should come as no surprise that Gov. Rick Scott is leaning towards supporting the Miami Dolphins stadium deal.

I like the fact that the Dolphins are putting up a lot of [the club's] money up," he said Tuesday, the day after the football team inked an agreement with Miami-Dade County. "I like the fact they're committing to stay. I like the fact that there's a referendum. They're fulfilling those obligations. But I haven't seen the return-on-investment numbers, which of course is the biggest thing."

Study after study have found that sports stadiums do not have a major positive economic impact for local communities. A study by economists Brad Humphreys and Dennis Coates for the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute found the financial benefits of sports stadiums overrated.

Our conclusion, and that of nearly all academic economists studying the issue, is that professional sports generally have little, if any, positive effect on a city's economy," Humphreys and Coates wrote in a report issued last month by the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; The institute commissioned the professors to study the economic impact of a deal proposed by Anthony Williams, the mayor of Washington, D.C.; under terms of the agreement, Major League Baseball would move the Montreal Expos to the nation's capital in exchange for a new, city-built ballpark.

Economist Dean Baim found that taxpayers loss money on sports stadiums. The reason is simple. Taxpayers pay for the construction and upkeep of the sports venues. The owners of the sports franchises keep the profits. Cities do not get a return on their investment. Would you give money to let someone start a business and then let that business owner keep the profits? That is exactly the kind of deals elected officials negotiates with sports franchises.

Scott made the statement that the Miami Dolphins will put up money to pay for the stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer promised to pay have the cost of the construction of Raymond James Stadium. Glazer later reneged on that promise. Don't count on Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to put up a penny for a new stadium.

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