Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Super Bowl Committee Touts Phony Study To Claim Over $150 Milllion In Direct Spending

The people who are paid to prepare these reports are told in advance what the outcome must show and sure enough the report always backs up the original claims made by those who support spending tens of millions of dollars of tax dollars to lure events like the Super Bowl. Prior to Indianapolis hosting this year's Super Bowl, proponents had pegged the direct spending impact from hosting the Super Bowl at a minimum of $150 million. A report prepared by Rockport Analytics claims Indianapolis realized an impact of $152 million. It's a total fabrication, a fact which is easily ascertained from hotel and sales tax revenues, not to mention complaints from numerous area businesses at the disappointment in how limited the benefit from visitor spending proved to be during the event despite excellent weather. Nonetheless, local officials will use the fabricated numbers to promote spending more public money to lure future Super Bowl events. The Indianapolis Star, which made a lot of money off promoting the Super Bowl, weighs in with the propaganda:

Armed with a fresh economic impact report touting $152 million in direct spending from Indianapolis’ first Super Bowl, city and state officials are expected to announce plans this morning to bid on hosting a second NFL championship.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and the top two leaders from the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee are gathering this morning for a news conference — one advertised only as a discussion of the impact study.
But multiple sources with direct knowledge of the city’s plans told The Indianapolis Star that the officials also will discuss a new effort aimed at bringing the Super Bowl back to the city. Two sources say talk has centered on the 2018 Super Bowl . . .
The economic impact report that will be released today by the Host Committee estimates that 116,000 visitors descended upon Indianapolis from 50 miles or farther in the 10-day period leading up to the Feb. 5 Super Bowl.
That tally does not include locals who trekked to the game, the village or the NFL Experience. Overall, the fan event sold 265,000 tickets.
The event resulted in an estimated $151.7 million in direct impact from visitors’ local spending and local businesses’ work putting on the Super Bowl and related events, the report says. It was adjusted to subtract tourism-related spending the city typically counts on during the same period in other years . . .
Some dispute the larger impact on the Indianapolis area’s economy, as portrayed by Rockport Analytics’ new study.
Its estimates — particularly the nearly $152 million direct impact figure — appear in line with economic impact studies and projections that have looked at previous Super Bowl hosts. PricewaterhouseCoopers projected before the Super Bowl that Indianapolis would see a $150 million boost from visitor spending, and it said the impact elsewhere over the last decade has ranged from $113 million in Detroit in 2006 to $202 million in North Texas last year.
Peter McHenry, assistant professor of economics and public policy at College of William and Mary in Virginia, reviewed the new impact study. It appeared to be carefully compiled, he said, but he cautioned that estimates quickly get squishy beyond direct spending — and even that is tough to pin down.
“I always discount these things by large factors,” McHenry said. “I think it would be better to have no impact studies like this. ... The potential for misleading folks is too great.”
The figures naturally didn't take into account all of the public expenditures that went into making the event possible, including all the tax breaks that were awarded to the NFL. There was also a large blackout period where the Indiana Convention Center was basically out of use for hosting other events, which actually resulted in a loss of revenues that would have occurred if the city had not hosted the Super Bowl. You can bet those losses weren't included in the calculation. I don't have a problem with the city wanting to host a Super Bowl. My problem is with the high price the public has to pay for an event that largely benefits only a handful of businesses and individuals. People forget that we had to build a new $750 million stadium with taxpayer dollars just to have a seat at the table to bid on the event, not to mention all the other public incentives that the NFL demands as a condition to hosting the event. When you consider that the NFL team owners are among America's wealthiest citizens, it really is a glaring example of welfare for the rich. The Star's editorial writers say the "numbers appear to add up" so that's the end of the discussion.

1 comment:

patriot paul said...

No matter what the numbers are, city officials use the reasoning that even if a loss, it was all worth it because it will bring added interests, appeal, 'world-class' to the former 'nap-town' image and therefore immeasurable increase in convention and visitor bookings and showcase Indy as a place to relocate your family or business. To the extent this may be true, following this mantra could justify most anything at Hoosiers' expense.