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New Meadowlands Stadium Not Economic Savior Those With Vested Interests In Its Construction Claimed

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The new Giants Stadium, er, Giants/Jets Stadium, er, New Meadowlands Stadium, opens for business this Sunday, in Rutherford, NJ.

Thing is, the old stadium it replaced (now a parking lot for the new stadium) still carries about $110 million in debt, or nearly $13 for every resident in the state, according to a piece in today's New York Times.

Economic impact studies pertaining to sports complexes are often presented with breathless enthusiasm, pointing out the unparalleled benefits that will one day be realized. It's just that the glowing studies always seem to come from those with skin in the game, who have a vested interest in getting the stadium built--usually team owners, who, if they already own a professional sports team, are likely intelligent enough to know better. But hey, no one ever got to the top by being straight with people, right? Hahaha, of course not.

Take a look at some numbers:

“Stadiums are sold as enormous draws for events, but the economics are clear that they aren’t helping,” said Andrew Moylan, the director of government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union. “It’s another way to add insult to injury for taxpayers.”

Lest you think there are NO economic benefits to constructing a new stadium, you're wrong. University of Washington Professor Bill Beyers, an expert on economic impact studies, gave a lecture to UW football fans before a game, during which he sprang a pop quiz on the audience.

"I'm going to give you three different percentages for the economic impact of sports on the local economy, and you raise your hand for what you think is the right answer," he said.

Many people imagined 10% was correct. The majority, believing they were being duped by a trick question, guessed 1%. Almost no one raised their hand for one-tenth of 1%.

Drumroll, please.

"The correct answer is 1/10th of one percent, and even that is probably overstating it," Beyers told the crowd.

Ultimately, the construction of a lavish new arena is a rather vainglorious pursuit. Jets owner Woody Johnson told the Times in an article over the weekend that, getting the chance to erect a stadium was “kind of the reason I bought the team.”

Are you ready for some football...related long term debt?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.