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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

February 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Vote: Are pro sports good for the economy?

There are really good stadium and arena deals, as when the Carolina Panthers pretty much paid for their stadium in downtown Charlotte. And really bad ones, as when the Arizona Cardinals took a taxpayer-funded stadium and put it in the middle of nowhere to help their land speculation plans. Seattle’s proposed arena looks somewhere in-between, more on the good side, but the details will still emerge. Having an arena near the other stadiums is also good, leveraging transit and other infrastructure, as opposed to disrupting neighborhoods or sticking it in the exurbs with all the environmental costs associated. Then there’s finding teams. I’m not sure the economics can support both the NBA and NHL, but this is a basketball-crazy town (let the anti-Howie comments begin) that misses its Sonics.

Are pro sports good for a local economy? Of themselves, they generate a few huge salaries and many low-wage jobs. But the teams provide assets that help attract talent, capital and energy to the economy. Corporations get to entertain clients and use the teams as a recruiting tool. The games also add to the tourism economy. At least that’s what I think.

So, today’s poll:

Do pro sports help the local economy

Read on for the week’s links and the haiku:

This Week’s Links:

Women in the labor force (Washington, at $748, ranks seventh in median weekly earnings, bu 41st as a percentage of men’s at 76.5 percent) Bureau of Labor Statistics

How “uncertainty” didn’t kill the economy || Salon

GE and Boeing at the competitiveness charade || Prestowitz/Foreign Policy

Corporate margins widen as wages lag prices || Bloomberg

The five emerging economies that will change the world || The Atlantic

The myth of American productivity || Washington Monthly

The unbearable lightness of the stock rally || Zero Hedge

Crude oil and gasoline prices || Econbrowser

Occupied Washington and the myth of “anti-business” || Mother Jones

America needs an infrastructure bank || Financial Times

How Occupy helped labor win on the West Coast || Salon

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Those high pump prices

Fuel political follies

A new gas supply

Comments | More in Sports business

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