Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Effect of Sports Facilities on Local Economies

One of the reasons offered for the 1/2% sales tax increase is that events at McAndrew and the Arena draw people into Carbondale where they spend money. While that is true, most research indicates that, despite the claims of the promoters, upgrading or replacing a currently existing sports facility has little effect on the economy of the community. See here, here, here and here.

If we want to donate money to help renovate McAndrew and the Arena as a sign of commitment and solidarity with SIUC, that's one thing. Position the tax increase that way. However, viewing the renovations as a direct economic benefit for Carbondale is not born out by the evidence or the opinion of most economists.

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