Columbus Dispatch editorial: Never mind, Blue Jackets arena is a money pit

I called out the Columbus Dispatch last week for a misleading headline implying that the publicly owned Blue Jackets‘ arena was turning a small profit, so credit where credit is due for a Dispatch editorial today pointing out exactly how and why that was oh so wrong:

Nationwide Arena reports it will end its fiscal-year budget on June 30 with a profit of $316,000. That’s a paper profit, courtesy of a public bailout and the kind of creative accounting that would land an ordinary property owner in foreclosure…

Most people would see their financial situations vastly improved if they, too, could dispense with property taxes and mortgage payments.

The editorial also notes that Columbus residents voted five times against using public money for a sports arena between 1978 and 1997, only to have the Blue Jackets pursue a privately funded arena in 2000 — and then demand a public bailout eleven years later because they claimed they were losing money. Fighting against sports subsidies is really hard when teams owners only have to bat .167 to get everything that they asked for.


4 comments on “Columbus Dispatch editorial: Never mind, Blue Jackets arena is a money pit

  1. Now if anyone in Ohio still gets a physical copy of the newspaper, was this one of the rare editorials that made it to above the fold/front page like the headline “Nationwide Arena reports small profit” likely did ? This might be the consolation piece for the killed below-fold headline “Nationwide Arena to end fiscal year barely in black, with tax bill, debt looming”

    • Well, I took the bait and went to the local Kroger for the Dispatch although we get the Dayton (Ohio) and USA Today every day. First of all, I was surprised to see the shrunken version of the Dispatch – more magazine size. The editorial mentioned here took up the entire left hand side of the first Opinion page on page B9.

  2. Nothing new there. In Detroit we voted once against public financing of a baseball stadium so they had us vote again. We voted four times against legalized gambling and they made us vote a fifth time and that worked.

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