SABR

Thurm: Did the Marlins kill publicly financed ballparks?

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs on November 20, 2012:

The Marlins didn’t kill publicly-financed ballparks. Or arenas. Or stadiums. Not in Florida. Not anywhere. Sure, the Marlins’ fire-sale trade with the Blue Jays — which came less than a year after the opening of the publicly-financed Marlins Ballpark — won’t help the cause of those seeking public monies to build new sports facilities. But teams will continue to seek public financing and municipalities will continue to say yes.

Why?

Because the Marlins’ swindling of the Miami-Dade taxpayers is nothing new. It’s simply the latest example of public officials falling prey to threats that a city’s team will leave and fancy reports prepared by team consultants that say a new ballpark will bring jobs, tax revenue and economic development — despite study after study that shows those claims hardly ever are true.

Indeed, that’s exactly what the Marlins said when trying to convince Miami-Dade officials about the benefits of a new ballpark in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. But as the Miami New Times showed in 2011, as the ballpark was under construction, the Marlins’ claims turned out to be — how to say this nicely? — false.

Spend just a bit of time reading Neil deMause’s excellent blog (and book by the same time) Field of Schemes or the research of Harvard Professor Judith Grant Long. You’ll find countless examples of ballparks or stadiums or arenas built with public money on the promise that a city or a county would see big economic benefits. And despite those unrealized gains, demands keep coming and funds keep flowing.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/did-the-marlins-kill-publicly-financed-ballparks/

This page was last updated November 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm MST.

Individual Memberships start at just $45/year

Become A Member Today

When you join SABR you are making a statement of support for baseball history. You are joining a worldwide community of people who love to read about, talk about and write about baseball.