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Friday, February 23, 2007

Business Questions Around Sports

The Sonics are staying here for at least another year. And if they get $300 million in funding, they'll build a new arena in Renton and stay for a while. If they don't get these public funds, they're probably off to Oklahoma City. There have already been some cranky politicians claiming that this proposal is already dead. There is the claim that the deal (like other stadium deals) are bad for the public. And maybe they are. But when I read the articles discussing the deals, it seems like there is a lot left out when considering. For instance, no one really knows or adds the added revenue from all of the business that specifically target stadium traffic. And I mean ALL of the businesses' revenues from the peanut vendor all the way up to a place like the Pyramid Brewery or FX McRory's. No one is really quoting how much these businesses make or how many jobs are added on gameday. Also, much of this money comes from entertainment taxes such as dining, bar or sometimes hotel taxes. The local resident isn't hit all that hard if at all from those taxes. And if you implement those taxes within the specific radius of the stadium, county and state residents aren't hit at all. And lastly, can anyone really quote the benefit that sports adds to a community? Face it, in America professional sports IS our culture, performance art, and passion. More people attend and frequent these stadiums than any art gallery or exhibit. And whether you, I, or politicians like it, these stadiums and teams represent more of we are as communities, cities, and states. No one seems to be able to quote that added benefit either. When was the last time you shot the breeze over two pieces of art at the water cooler? I didn't think so.

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