Braves stadium deal may not be worst ever, but that’s grading on a pretty steep curve

In my latest for Vice Sports, I take a look at the ever-sadder Atlanta Braves stadium mess, and ask whether it’s the worst stadium deal ever. Fans of Betteridge’s Law, let alone regular readers of this site, will know how that turns out, but suffice to say it’s an honor for them even to be part of the conversation. Not an honor in the good sense, mind you, but there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Anyway, it also features amusing observations from Victor Matheson and J.C. Bradbury, so go read it now!


5 comments on “Braves stadium deal may not be worst ever, but that’s grading on a pretty steep curve

  1. If a locality’s stated goal is to spur development and development and the stadium deal is spurring development, then that stadium deal is one of the best ever, not the worst.

    • Once again, there have been zero cases where stadia have spurred development. In all cases, the stadia in question have been placed in areas that were surrounded by burgeoning development (e.g San Diego and Baltimore) or on the verge of development independent of the stadium (e.g. Denver).

      As stadia are only occupied for a limited number of days each year and have heavy parking needs, when measured against the opportunity cost of something else that could have been built had the government not intervened, they are actually less effective at spurring development that other uses (like residential, retail, commercial or heavily trafficked amusement uses).

      That may seem counter intuitive when 50,000 people are crowding in and around a baseball stadium on game day, but it’s more than obvious when the stadium area is like a ghost town when the team is out of town.

      • Ben,

        Sounds pretty desperate. The locality’s goal might be to spur development, but if the locality sponsored a Burger King with tax money, and buildings came up around it–would you argue that the Burger King “spurred development?” How about a traffic light?

  2. Hell of a piece for Vice, Neil. Impressive as all get-out….

    By the way….we are far from seeing this madness end. Let alone obscene demands being made for limited use facilities, at the expense of many who can barely afford to have a place to call home, go to work, eat or go to school.

  3. A real test of spurring development is to build the thing in a ghetto , not a thriving county. Its why they’re leaving the old stadium from what I’ve read. MLB wonders why black kids have stop playing baseball.

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