Friday roundup: Saskatoon soccer frenzy, Phoenix hotel sale to fund Suns, and more!

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19 comments on “Friday roundup: Saskatoon soccer frenzy, Phoenix hotel sale to fund Suns, and more!

  1. I think you’re missing the link to the Yahoo piece with the Zimbalist quotes:

  2. On a more serious note, it is amusing that people can call themselves “economists” while ignoring practical economics. There are numerous examples of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses that “make their year” because of events at football stadiums. Obviously not every football stadium draws large, free-spending, out-of-town crowds, but those that do usually are a “very good economic proposition”.

    1. If a restaurant across the street from a stadium does better and a restaurant across town does worse, that may benefit the first restaurant, but it doesn’t do anything for the city as a whole.

      Also, I’d be interested to hear any non-anecdotal evidence of businesses that “make their year” on sporting events. When I’ve spoken to actual restaurateurs, they’ve said sports crowds are nice enough, but they don’t pay the bills.

    2. Actually, economists don’t ignore such “practical” details at all, Ben. They are an essential part of such indices as gross domestic product. So your restaurants getting a windfall are definitely in there.

      However, economists are supposed to study the range of exchanges across a system. So tax-funded projects that cause a great year for a couple hotels but also cause a neglect of (boring) essential infrastructure (don’t pretend this choice doesn’t happen) to the cost of taxpaying citizens and businesses might lead some to believe that the trade wasn’t a good one. Economists just ask questions and figure out ways to measure and define answers–we’re the ones that are supposed to fill the values in.

      That said, would be great if cities like Phoenix passed strict ethics laws that would prevent council members from ever getting a benefit from issues they vote on. Would be interesting to see how exciting new arenas became of the “box reserved for city officials” or other freebies were taken from the equation.

  3. Related to the Suns arena, the consultants report on a renovation plan (which still has not been publicly released and is long overdue – was to include whether the existing arena could be made more compatible with hockey.

    As the upcoming city council ‘discussion’ is in an Executive Session, the public will not know any details.

    Could the Suns and Coyotes possibly be sharing this arena again?

  4. “My background is in finance” so give me public land for free to go do stupid things never lets anyone down.

    Also, what is wrong with Arizona? I know the Talking Stick Resort Arena has an awful name, but don’t hold that against the building itself.

  5. What league the play in? Is lower division soccer that popular in Canada? Oops never mind, The Saskatoon Star Phoenix has the answer. The Canadian Premier League “the league has yet to play a game. It currently has two teams, Winnipeg and Hamilton.” Long road trips. Here’s there link. And support local journalism by visiting their sponsors when in the Greater Saskatoon Metro Area.

    1. The Canadian Soccer Association wants a national league to spur player development. Problem is there are already numerous cities with teams in U.S leagues. Don’t see those teams jumping to this new league. Extremely risky investment .

      1. As opposed to the guaranteed investment provided by the USL or NASL? *eyeroll*

        Of course the MLS teams will stay put, but Edmonton’s already moving, and with the CFL teams involved, there will be a decent minor slate.

      2. Most of the Canadian based teams that play in US sanctioned leagues (and there aren’t that many) play at PDL level. Edmonton and Ottawa would be the exceptions to that.

        The costs and headaches associated with crossing the border aren’t going to be any less than these clubs would see nationally. Take a look at the travel footprint Edmonton or Ottawa has to absorb to be in NASL… it’s a serious cost.

        As I understand it the CFL clubs, which were initially interested, have mostly lukewarm feelings toward a national league now. It’s some years away from happening by the look of it, and the CSA knows it needs regional semipro or amateur leagues to support the national league. I’m still somewhat skeptical that it will ever play a game, but it’s certainly not impossible.

  6. “Also, what is wrong with Arizona?”

    When you show yourself, over and over, to be an easy mark, you gotta expect the vultures to keep hanging around.

  7. Anybody know why all the Grapefruit League teams are fleeing from the Orlando area? I’m more of a Cactus League guy (thanks Arizona taxpayers!), but it sure is easier to sell a family trip to the Grapefruit League when you have nearby amusement parks as bait.

    1. As Teams have left for the Cactus League, the travel for the remaining florida teams has gotten longer for games. So teams are getting closer to each other and in do so getting some free stuff from cities.

      Similar to why there arent teams in Tucson.

  8. I wonder if the Saskatoon land is the same land where Batoni-Hunter was going to have the NHL Blues play in 1983-84, before the NHL governors forbid the move from St. Louis.

    1. Saskatoon actually built that arena (sort of) anyway. Saskatoon Place (or whatever it’s corporate name is nowadays) is still out on the north end and is still a reasonably busy facility (WHL hockey, concerts, trade shows, sometimes even curling… etc).

      I don’t know that the city turns a profit on it (I would suspect it’s break even at best), but this arena is far from the typical white elephant we speak about on this site routinely.

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