Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

A roundup of interesting stories

I haven't had the chance to point to a few interesting stories from the past couple of days.

  • This story about ex-bulldawg standout Quincy Carter makes you realize how far you can fall.

  • This Star-Telegram story outlines how, once again, the Mayor and city council in Arlington hold "secret" meetings concerning how to spend local tax dollars. In this case, the Mayor was holding secret meetings concerning the city and region's bid for the 2011 Super Bowl. However, the city is not willing to share the records concerning the bid - specifically information about costs and benefits of hosting the Super Bowl - citing concerns that by releasing the information the other cities bidding for the event (Indianapolis and Phoenix) will gain some competitive advantage.

  • This Star-Telegram story points out that nearly $250 million has been spent on the Cowboys stadium construction, about a fourth of the current budget (the city ostensibly can't contribute more than $325 million, but we'll see about that). The stadium is far from 1/4 completed, from what I can tell, but then I don't build stadiums for a living. There was a considerable amount of money spent on land acquisition before stadium construction even began. An interesting tidbit in the article is that the city has spent $2.4 million on legal fees - mainly defending the city in land acquisition law suits.

  • This Star-Telegram article describes how the Texas Rangers MLB club has officially come out against the plans to build a $15 million minor league baseball stadium about seven miles East along I-30 in the city of Grand Prairie. The city would levy a 1/8 penny sales tax to fund the stadium construction. Why would the Rangers care about an independent Single A baseball team in Grand Prairie when it doesn't care about the Fort Worth Cats that play at the same level? Graves field is about 16 miles away, so maybe the anecdote that the geographic market for a major league baseball team being 90 miles is not true, perhaps it is closer to ten.

    I find it amazing that the city of Grand Prairie would want to dedicate public money to a minor league park. Moreover, what kind of park could it be if it cost only 1.5% what the Cowboys Stadium will cost (at least).

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