Building 49ers stadium creating “stadium effect,” say people who want more things built

And let’s see what’s in the papers today … hello, Oakland Tribune:

‘Stadium effect’ expected to spur office, retail, hotel development

That’s today’s headline about the new San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, and is surprising, to say the least, given that pretty much any economist could tell you that an NFL stadium that’s dark 355 [EDIT: or 345 or 350 or whatever; see comments below] days a year is not going to encourage anyone to build much of anything nearby. (Or as the University of Chicago’s Allen Sanderson memorably put it, “There are only two things you do not want on a valuable piece of real estate. One is a cemetery, and the other is a football stadium.”) But the Tribune reports that “roughly $3 billion worth of office buildings, retail centers, hotels and residences are under construction or on the drawing boards in the vicinity of the stadium,” and that can only be because—

To be sure, some of that development would have occurred anyway because of the technology boom that has been underway for the past three years.

Okay, but really it’s because of the stadium, according to—

developers, realty executives and analysts say a considerable amount of the new activity is due to what they call the “stadium effect.”

“Developers and realty executives,” huh? What do economists, planning officials, or really anyone without a vested interest have to say about the cause of the planned developments? Reading the article all the way through … nothing. Oakland Tribune? Are you there? Are your emailing fingers broken? Hello?

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19 comments on “Building 49ers stadium creating “stadium effect,” say people who want more things built

  1. The Tribune is just trying pump up the whole idea of stadium effect to cheerlead the future move by Oakland to assist the Raiders financially on their own stadium.

  2. This article was in the San Jose Mercury also.

    It’s simply embarrassing that hype filled press releases are now what passes for “reporting” or “journalism”.

  3. It’s pretty fair to say that “stadium effect” means different things to different people.

  4. While I agree with the premise it’s not helping the cause to state that the stadium is going to be dark 355 days a year, it’s patently false given that other events have already been announced for the stadium. There’s no reason to exaggerate and it just gives fodder to the pro-stadium crowd.

  5. So far on the Levi’s calendar I see one MLS game, one UC-Berkeley football game, and one Pac-12 championship game. I don’t expect to see all of those every year (except the Pac-12 for the next few years), but sure … would you prefer “dark about 345 days a year”? That’s still a lot of dark.

  6. The thing is that non-NFL events are the only way the city can possibly generate some revenue for itself (a 50-50 split with the 49ers). As Neil points out, the list is very sparse thus far. Despite being heavily touted during the campaign, there are no concerts scheduled (the 49ers tried to get McCartney to move his Candlestick show to Levi’s but were unsuccessful).

    During the campaign then councilman Will Kennedy pointed about that his reading of the economic analysis showed that the stadium would contribute about 1% to Santa Clara’s economic total activity–a boon roughly equal to adding a mid sized supermarket.

  7. Neil,

    They’ll get at least two large college football games per season, probably three (I’m predicting that the Kraft Bowl moves there). The MLS game vs LA might move there and I’d also expect one big extra event per year on average (concert or WredtleMania or SuperBowl) and at least one smaller event (monster truck show, dirt bike race, etc).

    All that having been said, of course you’re right. I can’t think of a single football stadium that has stimulated nearby development.

  8. Yes, I would prefer an estimate of dark days that’s more accurate then a number that while close enough for someone who agrees with the premise will be blown out of proportion by those who don’t as an easy way to discredit the main premise.

  9. When I read “stadium effect” I just assumed that this meant Santa Clara was closing schools and libraries, laying off police and firemen, and maybe selling a hospital or two to fund their stadium shortfall.

    I guess Mike was right, stadium effect does mean different things to different people…

  10. Can’t you just let us winners sling some bullshit once in awhile without all this criticizing? Sheesh.

    After all, there IS a “stadium effect”. It’s the effect of putting a whole lotta dough in my pockets….yeehaw!

  11. Is the PAC12 Championship game a done deal? That’s a bummer, I liked it on College campuses. The less college games in NFL stadiums the better, as far as I’m concerned.

  12. PAC12 is in Santa Clara on a three-year contract, I believe. After that, we’ll see.

  13. The fight hunger bowl will be played on 12/30 at Levi. Also looking to host a high school football double header in August (with 3 of the 4 teams from out of town). In addition the stadium may host an open 49er training camp in August. Plus the revenue generated from the pub, team store, and museum. In the first month there are about 4-5 events of varying size. Most SC hotels are listing rooms on game NFL game nights at $200-$300 per night. Good demand even with a new tax on those rates, a tax that goes to pay for stadium operations.

  14. I’d rather imagine that any high school games could easily be accommodated at Spartan Stadium as they’ve been for decades. It would be have to be a very cut rate rental from the 49ers in hope of drawing in people curious about the stadium. This will last about as long as the glitz of a shiny new car.

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