Two economists, no waiting

The San Francisco Chronicle:

While the new [49ers] field [in Santa Clara] promises intangibles such as a national profile and civic pride, observers say it includes hidden costs, lost opportunities and unanswered questions, making it unclear how good a bargain it truly is.

“This is a very low price tag for the city, but it is not a good deal because they are passing up other things they could do there and vastly overplaying the value of non-football events [at the stadium], most of which are highly speculative,” said Roger Noll, a Stanford economist who has conducted exhaustive research on professional sports stadiums.

And from the Indianapolis Star:

“In this economy, to be honest, I think [the Indianapolis Colts‘] Lucas [Oil Stadium] is doing an amazing job,” said the University of Michigan’s Mark Rosentraub, an expert in the economics of sports. He recently wrote a book on how cities have used sports facilities as economic tools. “But that does not mean it’s not going to lose money.”…

Rosentraub said people need to keep in mind the big-picture reason behind the stadium and the deal to keep the Colts in Indianapolis.

“This was an investment in human capital,” he said, “to use the downtown as a linchpin to attract highly skilled workers for Eli Lilly, banks, insurance companies, the kinds of workers we will need in the 21st century.”

Guess which one has worked as a paid consultant to sports leagues, and is touting a new book repenting his stadium critic past?

4 comments on “Two economists, no waiting

  1. The article in question in the Indianapolis star;, touts the number of events held in LOS since it’s opening. Included in those totals were five events that hosted 70 people total! It was basically a puff piece by the local paper to delude the taxpayers into thinking that we were actually getting something for our money. As to Mr. Rosentraub perhaps the study he did for the Colts may be a source of bias;, of note this comment, “The intangible benefits of the Indianapolis Colts are a ÔøΩgood buyÔøΩ

    for Indiana residents.”

  2. According to, Dr. Rosentraub published the book “Major League Losers” in 1995. That book correctly noted that stadiums have little or no significant impact on the local economy. Then in 2005, Dr. Rosentraub and Dr. Swindell published “The Value of the Indianapolis Colts To Indiana Residents and Their Willingness
    To Pay For A New Stadium” (March 2005), and Viola! stadiums are now an integral part of the community.

    That seems to be a rather abrupt about face by Dr. Rosentraub in a mere 6 years.

  3. Guess which one is written by a bias paper desperate to keep the hometown team from moving 40 miles south to an area they still wrongly consider a suburb of their city?

  4. Investment in human capital? Indianapolis is not doing well financially, and something tells me the $40 million annually they’re pouring into Colts Field and Pacers Stadium probably has something to do with it. You want investment into human capital? How about fixing the joke of a school system, the joke of a public transportation system, and lowering the rising violent crime rate. That’s why people are leaving.