Orlando SC stadium neighbors hope for economic boost, prepare to be sadly disappointed

Good article with misleading headline alert! From the Orlando Sentinel:

Parramore residents hope stadium will help kick-start community

They do? Will it?

Soccer faithfuls won’t change Parramore’s fortunes by themselves, [Florida State University professor Tim Chapin] said.

“That sounds like a lot of economic activity, but it’s a tiny drop in a very large pond in terms of the economy,” he said. “There will be a few winners in this, but it’s not a rising tide that lifts all boats.”

A quote from Charles Frizzell, owner of a new sports bar across the street, in instructive: “I don’t know if we would have chosen this location, if it wasn’t for the soccer stadium.” Which, if the biggest impact you’re going to have is that people choosing to open sports bars will move over a few blocks to be closer to the stadium, that’s exceedingly meh impact. Plus, opening a sports bar and keeping a sports bar open are two different things: Reporter Jeff Weiner notes that similar hopes were raised by the opening of the Magic‘s Amway Center in 2010, but then mostly dashed:

Draft Global Beer Lounge, despite taxpayer subsidies, fell into debt before closing at the Church Street Parking Garage, which has since been torn down, while Parramore mainstay Johnson’s Diner also failed after moving into the CityView building.

Commissioner Regina Hill, a Parramore native who represents the neighborhood on the City Council, credits a job at the old Amway Arena, which opened in 1989 and was demolished in 2011, with offering her hope as a young woman.

“It was $7-an-hour, part-time, but it gave me the ability to get off that couch and start to feel valuable,” she said.

Now there’s a headline: “Sports facilities bring hope to low-income communities with minimum-wage part-time jobs to get them off the sofa.” Accuracy is so seldom clickbaity.


11 comments on “Orlando SC stadium neighbors hope for economic boost, prepare to be sadly disappointed

  1. Well at least the taxpayers didn’t spend over a billion in arena subsidies and millions more to get businesses to open near that NBA arena. Total public subsidies for Orlando stadium = 0.

  2. Seventeen home dates. Or, put another way, he chose his bar’s location on 348 days of not-soccer at the stadium.

  3. Neil, forget the fact that Orlando City at first requested 30+ million in subsidies, shady EB-5 funding scheme, attempts at eminent domain, etc…, let’s say you had to put a grade on the Orlando City Stadium, like a sort of Dr. Beach, Charity Navigator rating so the laymen can see a simple rating from a sports subsidy expert- like an A for Staples, AT&T park and an F for anything built in Cincinnati and Indianapolis (you should totally do this by the way and live happily as a world famous thousandaire). Dr. Stadium, what grade are you giving the Orlando City Stadium? Has to be one of the few to win your stamp of approval, especially being privately financed in a small market, right?

        • It’s one of the rare stadium deals that doesn’t suck, yes. But I was serious about grading on a curve: I’d like to hope that we as a society haven’t sunk so far that when a rich dude spends his own money on a new thing for himself, we feel it necessary to give him a gold star for altruism.

          • Weak. Who said anything about a curve? And wouldn’t the ratings be for the laymen that don’t know or care to figure out the difference between a TIF and a municipal bond, and not a shout out to the owners? Would you call a high charity navigator rating a gold star to a nonprofit that doesn’t rob people blind?

          • If you’re starting from the premise that AT&T and Staples are an A, that’s by definition grading on a curve. It’s like asking me to grade my favorite catastrophic earthquakes — giving one an “A-minus” because there was minimal loss of life would be missing the point entirely.

    • “Forget the fact that Orlando City at first requested 30+ million in subsidies, shady EB-5 funding scheme, attempts at eminent domain, etc…”

      Yeah, that alone drops their grade down a letter grade, at a minimum. Let’s be real here: They didn’t agree to bankroll most of the stadium (infrastructure and possible cost overruns irt land purchase aside) out of a pure kindness of their heart. It was more out of impatience with the state legislature who, in one of their more rare moments of clarity, began to doubt their willingness to throw more public money at sports venues.

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