The Brooklyn Nets‘ Barclays Center brought in $14 million in new tax revenues to New York City last year, according to … well, according to the New York Daily News, which reported it in an exclusive this morning, but they got the info from … the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which got it from … “data provided by Barclays Center developer Forest City Ratner.”
The $14 million figure claims to be a measure of spending by non-New York City residents both inside and outside the arena, as well as income taxes paid by Nets employees; the Daily News article doesn’t say whether this is only of non-city residents who came to the city just to go to Barclays, since as you may have heard, some people visit New York City for other reasons and might take in a basketball game while in town. Nor does it say how Forest City Ratner compiled the data — I’m guessing with fan surveys, since they claim to be tracking spending outside the arena as well, but no details have been provided. I’ve asked NYCEDC for more specifics; if I hear back, I’ll post an update here.
Anyway, if the $14 million in new tax revenues is true, how good is that for New York City? Assuming it lasts for another 30 years and doesn’t tail off as the new-arena smell wears off, that’d be worth about $200 million in present value to the city. City taxpayers, meanwhile, are putting up about $350 million toward the arena ($170 million in cash, $180 million in tax breaks), according to the New York City Independent Budget Office, meaning — okay, that’s a pretty crappy return even if you take the Nets’ claims at face value.
The IBO, incidentally, previously estimated that the city would earn about $130 million in new revenues to pay off its $350 million arena cost, a number that could end up just about right in line with the Nets’ claims, if out-of-town arena attendance dips some in coming decades. So props to the IBO for their projection, and way fewer props to the Daily News for citing the IBO’s report without ever mentioning the $350 million cost figure. It’s almost like they fired all their editors or something.