I’ve made fun of Florida’s propensity for giving its sports teams lots of money based on doofy economic impact studies before, such as when Pinellas County moved forward with a plan for giving the Toronto Blue Jays $65 million for a new spring training facility in Dunedin based on an economic report that assumed that every single ticket sold went to a different person who traveled to Florida just for that game. But this, this, from WTSP’s Noah Pransky, takes the damn cake:
10Investigates found the author of so many economic impact reports that support public sports subsidies may not be the expert economist state leaders believe he is.
The resume of Mark Bonn, Ph.D., a professor at Florida State University’s Dedman School of Hospitality, boasts of dozens of reports compiled for municipalities all across Florida, including some statewide organizations.
Bonn’s side company, Bonn Marketing Inc., recently received $23,000 from just one study, commissioned by the Toronto Blue Jays and city of Dunedin to show the economic impact of spring training…
Nobody on the committee questioned Bonn’s qualifications.
But 10Investigates did, asking if Bonn considered himself an economist.