Think Big Sacramento, the private nonprofit set up to push for new sports facilities by Mayor Kevin Johnson as part of his secret city government, has commissioned a report from consultants Capital Public Finance Group on the economic impact of a new Sacramento Republic FC soccer stadium, and come on, what do you think it said?
A new soccer stadium could generate $1.25 billion of economic impact over 30 years, according to the study commissioned by Think Big Sacramento.
We’ve been over the problems with using “economic impact” as a metric before (short answer: just because money is changing hands in your city limits doesn’t mean anyone in your city is benefiting), as well as the problems of hiring these consultants who just plug some numbers into a formula without trying to account for money that’s cannibalized from other local entertainment spending, or for economic losses from any public money that’s dedicated to the project instead of to other local needs. CPFG looks to be a local Sacramento group, so doesn’t have much of a track record, good or ill, in such matters, and it shows in the report, which is all of 19 pages long, 14 of which are taken up with overviews of Major League Soccer (attendance is up!) and the proposed downtown Sacramento site (“at the threshold of a new era”!). There’s no source given for any of CPFG’s numbers, and they don’t appear even to account for the fact that some people are already going to see Republic FC games, so counting the money those fans spend at a new stadium would be double-counting, and —
Sorry, this is way more attention than a quickly thrown-together PDF deserves, even if the Sacramento Bee thinks otherwise. Suffice to say that KJ bought himself some 19-page campaign brochures for his plan to get a new soccer stadium next to the Kings‘ new basketball arena. Wake me when somebody’s finalized how to pay for it. I know the Republic owners are saying “privately financed,” but we’ve heard that before.