Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Thursday, May 24, 2007
I was travelling on Tuesday when the big announcement was made in Nashville at the NFL owners meeting that Arlington, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in general, had been awarded the 2011 Super Bowl. The game will be played in the new Cowboys stadium which is currently being constructed, funded in part by $325 million in Arlington-only sales tax contributions.
I have long railed against the stadium and its predicted impacts on the local Arlington economy. I also admit that I hope I am wrong about my predictions. I hope the city of Arlington is able to take the Cowboys stadium and make something happen. In many ways the city needs a revitalization and perhaps the stadium will prove to be just that.
Needless to say, I missed a number of media inquiries about the potential impact of the event on the local economy of Arlington. There have been predictions of from $100m to $400m for Arlington. I doubt that will be the case, after all the Arlington economy is only $4b and if there was a 10% increase in economic activity, which would be across the board - not just in the hospitality sector - in the week leading up to the Super Bowl it would make Arlington an impossible place to live and shop.
Here was my response via e-mail to the following media inquiry: "Craig,
Have you looked at possible economic impact of Super Bowl 2011 in Arlington? I was curious to see what you might have to say. I have seen estimates ranging from 160 million to 400 million."
Any pre-event analysis is suspect at best. Economic impact studies are renown for assumptions that lead to inflated pre-event predictions. Most academic analyses put the *net* impact of the Super Bowl in the range of $30 to $50 million. This is because, although there are people who come to the host city to spend money during the event, there are local citizens who "skedaddle" or go elsewhere to spend money and others who "hunker down" and choose not to spend/shop as much as they would if the event was not occurring.
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