It’s about time somebody used superpowered statistical analysis for something other than crazy-ass attacks on attempts to reduce carbon emissions. And so, welcome the new book Soccernomics, which according to AP says that building stadiums for soccer’s World Cup, as South Africa has been doing amid protests, is unlikely to ever pay back its public costs:
There’ll be no economic bonanza, according to Stefan Szymanski, and if experience matches the last World Cup in Germany, spending by visitors will be much less than the South African government shelled out preparing for the tournament.
“The next World Cup will not be an airplane dropping dollars on South Africa,” authors Stefan Szymanski and Simon Kuper write in their new book “Soccernomics.” …
“The problem for South Africa is that they have to spend quite a lot to build stadiums,” Szymanski said in a telephone interview from London. “Germany could afford this, and it had stadiums anyway. But South Africa is a nation that can ill afford to fritter away a few billion on white elephants.”
Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota blog Smart Politics has analyzed the records of NFL teams before and after getting new stadiums to see if Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is right when he argues that a new stadium is necessary for his team to be successful on the field. Their verdict:
Overall, these 22 NFL teams compiled a .462 winning percentage (747 wins, 869 losses, 22 ties) across the five respective years before their new stadiums were built.
In the five seasons after the new stadiums opened, these teams notched a slightly better record, but only four games over .500. With 829 wins, 825 losses and 17 ties, the first five years brought these 22 franchises a collective winning percentage of just .501 in the first five years in their new respective facilities.
Hey, that reminds me of something…