People love living near stadiums, says paper devoted to saying people love living places

The New York Times real estate section chimes in on stadiums today, which is great news, because it means we can explore the bastion of weirdness that is the New York Times real estate section. First off, let’s hit the checklist: Does the article boast of a hot new neighborhood or neighborhoods that savvy buyers should be aware of? Check!

Once considered neighborhoods to avoid, property around many of Europe’s great soccer stadiums is growing more popular these days, as cities grow more expensive and teams build new facilities. Home buyers are finding bargains near stadiums and developers see opportunities to create new urban communities.

Does it do so by exclusively quoting realtors, developers, and happy residents of these areas? You bet it does: five realtors, one developer, and two residents. Does it describe the featured neighborhoods of having some nebulous trendiness that can’t be measured, only felt? Of course!

“There is a buzz about the place,” Mr. Spooner said. “People come here to have a good time.”

And most of all, does it eventually undermine its own premise with counterevidence, but bury that way at the end of the article so that readers (and the headline writer) can ignore it? You betcha! First it notes that “prices are often lower than in other neighborhoods” (which is noted as an attraction, but is also an indication that living near a stadium isn’t actually seen as that desirable), then the whole premise comes crashing down when the scene shifts to Barcelona and Rome:

Barcelonians are fanatical for Barça, but they are not necessarily eager to live near Camp Nou, the team’s stadium, said Joan Canela, of the Engel & Völkers Barcelona office.

“None of our clients demand to be near the stadium,” he said. The stadium “hurts value, because it is an area that becomes very crowded when there is a match, is complicated to park and the neighbors may have problems to access to their homes,” Mr. Canela said…

Barbara Maravalli, 42, rents a three-bedroom apartment with her husband and two children about half a mile from [Rome’s] Stadio Olimpico. “It played absolutely no role in my choice,” she said. “I wanted to be close to the center and surrounded by green areas.”

On game days there are “crazy” traffic jams in the area, Ms. Maravelli said. Her 20-minute drive to work can take an hour if she does not plan carefully. “I would rather they move the stadium, but I love this area so much that I would keep on staying here,” she said.

Add it all up, and you have: A bunch of realtors trying to sell or rent apartments around some of Europe’s big soccer stadiums say they’re a great deal; as for actual residents, some like being near stadiums, some don’t. That’s not actually a story at all, but in Times Real Estate land, it’s more than enough to warrant a headline like “Stadium Neighborhoods Are Becoming Magnets for Home Seekers,” which who knows, might even help stoke interest in those areas, as a Times R.E. mention has been known to do. It happened to Bushwickit’ll happen to you!


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6 comments on “People love living near stadiums, says paper devoted to saying people love living places

  1. FC Barcelona isn’t just 11 guys in shorts kicking a ball around….it’s a symbol of Catalan independence from Spain. Living near the Camp Nou is like living near the LIberty Bell.

    Nobody is saying how wonderful it is to live near Getafe’s or Sporting Gijon’s stadiums.

  2. That NYTimes reporting was done over a week ago, and in Europe, so is irrelevant in USA’s current Pokemon Go Era. Stadiums are Pokemon gyms (at least all the ones here are), and are therefore the MOST desirable places to be, because living next to a gym is the only situation where you can play the game without leaving your house.

  3. The Yankees aren’t just a baseball team, but the name recalls America’s independence from Britain. That doesn’t mean that Jerome Avenue is on the list of “next trendy place.”

    Stadiums, airports, and water purification plants are all great things for a city and a sign of technological capability. Doesn’t mean we want to live next to them.

  4. Sending reporters to far off places to cover stories is expensive, the fluff pieces help pay for that.

  5. Fascinating that they had to go all the way to barcelona for comment, and not, say, the Bronx or Brooklyn.

    On the other hand, I *loved* living around the corner from Yankee Stadium, but then again, I am the type of person who would appreciate living around the corner from my favorite baseball stadium. So I might not be the best judge.

  6. I loved living near stadiums when I was in Cleveland. I liked the buzz of activity around game time and being able to walk to a game. On non-game nights there were restaurants that probably wouldn’t have been there if there were no stadiums. Granted its not for everyone but what neighborhoods are?

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