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On local impact of NFL games, league can’t have it both ways

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

We’ll start this one off by acknowledging that all signs currently are pointing to the eventual (and by “eventual,” we mean sooner rather than later) resolution of the labor dispute.  But that fact serves only to make the league’s position on the following point even more confusing.

A new item from Bill Briggs of msnbc.com focuses on the local impact of lost games due to the lockout.  It widely has been accepted that, if all or part of the 2011 NFL season is scrapped because of labor unrest, the cities and states that host franchises will lose a lot money, as will the local businesses that otherwise would rent rooms, cook food, and serve various legal beverages (and maybe a few illegal ones) to the folks in town for the games.

The NFLPA* estimates that $20 million will be forfeited for each canceled game.  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, per Briggs, previously called the estimate a “fairy tale.”  More recently, Aiello forwarded to msnbc.com an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and politifact.com, which concludes that “there will be little economic impact if there is no NFL action next season. . . . [P]eople will find other ways to spend their money.”

That’s fine.  But how does that position support the argument that the construction of a stadium with public money results in a significant infusion of cash into the local economy?  If “people will find other ways to spend their money,” then they’ll spend their money with or without a publicly-funded football stadium.

The good news for the NFL, if there is any, is that the position articulated in the article quoted above is so ludicrous that no one will take it seriously.  The better news is that the entire issue of lockout losses could soon be irrelevant.

That said, the NFL could be forced to confront the notion that “people will find other ways to spend their money” whenever an NFL team is trying to get the public to pay for all or part of that swanky new venue being proposed for, say, Arden Hills.

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18 Responses to “On local impact of NFL games, league can’t have it both ways”
  1. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jun 21, 2011 7:20 PM

    Can’t wait for this to be over! The bias shown by this site has destroyed its integrity. Hopefully once the season starts and there is real football to report on they can get some back!

  2. AlanSaysYo says: Jun 21, 2011 7:30 PM

    “The good news for the NFL, if there is any, is that the position articulated in the article quoted about is so ludicrous that no one will take it seriously. ”

    You got the ludicrous part right.

  3. stataddict says: Jun 21, 2011 7:34 PM

    The position the NFL is taking does not contradict itself. From the national level, money not spent on attending NFL games will be spent elsewhere. However, it will not necessarily be spent in the same cities.

    For example, my wife and I could choose to tour Napa Valley instead of attending a 49ers game. The city of San Francisco would lose the tax revenue that would have been spent hotels, tickets, food, souvenirs and other amenities, however we’d spend the same amount of cash.

  4. buc13jcs says: Jun 21, 2011 7:40 PM

    Thanks…But, I don’t care…I just want a lot of football…very rudimentary

  5. clayjayhawk says: Jun 21, 2011 7:47 PM

    Yeah we all know that very rich men tell untruths…well they lie, but we get football so ahhcoonamatada!

  6. livenbreathefootball says: Jun 21, 2011 8:45 PM

    People of common sense and reasonable intelligence has known the NFL was inflating their figures for years. Like no one is going to go to Miami or San Diego in January except to attend a Super Bowl.

    The Sports Economist Blog has examined these and other sports related number fudging for years.

  7. backuppunter says: Jun 21, 2011 9:39 PM

    i will sure miss all the morons that cry bias every time PFT runs an article even questioning the owners side. it’s sort of become a new cry baby thing. when PFT fails to constantly feed you stories that confirm your own and exactly your own opinions you folks just cry, your biased biased. PFT has ran plenty of articles challenging both sides especially there lawyers.

    in other words the definition of bias is not “anything that I disagree with” that is not what bias means.

  8. goforthanddie says: Jun 21, 2011 10:36 PM

    “[P]eople will find other ways to spend their money.”
    Quite possibly the dumbest thing anyone in the negotiations could have said.

  9. blspears says: Jun 21, 2011 10:52 PM

    Im so sick of this arguement. These localities will not lose all that money. Its still real money in consumers hands that will be spent in other ways. Say a guy with premium seats pays typically $5,000.00 per year for the seats, if the whole season is cancelled he will get his $5,000.00 back. He will probally go out to eat with his family maybe go on a decent trip, build a deck or have a small down payment on a car. TV stations will have to come up with new programming. Advertisers will still advertise probally at a better rate for them so they may advertise more in other forms of media with the money they save. You have to be completely retarded to think that $20,000,000 is going to disappear per city per game because it still exsist it will find its way to the economy through different paths.

  10. dcbronco says: Jun 21, 2011 10:56 PM

    Punter the problem is that there are too many parrots on the internet. They hear something and it becomes their go to answer to everything. They don’t really get it or they are so caught up in some ridiculous belief that they only have one response to go with. Like the article said, the NFL can’t have it both ways.

    If the stadiums don’t bring anything to the city, pay for your own stadiums. All of the talk of the jobs is nonsense since they are mostly for 10 games a year. And the few events allowed to use the stadiums besides the team. The owners need to realize the NFL at the corner grocery store. The players are your partners and you need to pay them half of all income.

  11. discosucs2005 says: Jun 22, 2011 12:16 AM

    I honestly think it is absurd that any stadium would be built with public money. I’m not debating whether or not stadiums help a local economy, I’m just saying it’s stupid that tax dollars would be spent paying for them when those dollars could be used on education, police, fire, medical, and a whole host of other things that will vastly improve people’s day to day lives much more significantly than a football stadium.

  12. piemasteruk says: Jun 22, 2011 1:55 AM

    “That’s fine. But how does that position support the argument that the construction of a stadium with public money results in a significant infusion of cash into the ***LOCAL*** economy? If “people will find other ways to spend their money,” then they’ll spend their money with or without a publicly-funded football stadium.”

    If people don’t attend a game and spend the money in the local bars, hotels, restaraunts etc they will instead spend it back home on decking, rims and PPV porn. I’m not sure where you are proposing there is a contradiction in this argument.

  13. okemon says: Jun 22, 2011 6:40 AM

    i think i’ll burn the $5,000.00

  14. thephantomstranger says: Jun 22, 2011 7:05 AM

    Zygi Wilf just slapped his head and said “D’oh!”

  15. blspears says: Jun 22, 2011 9:22 AM

    piemasteruk I was just saying the money will not disappear just because there is no football. The money is in our pockets as consumers, its in the bank accounts of TV. It will be spent some where. I didnt say anything about public funding for staduim in my piece so I dont know where you got that from.

  16. theytukrjobs says: Jun 22, 2011 11:26 AM

    Stadiums have minimal effect on a state’s total economy, good or bad. The cost of a stadium spread over 30 years is negligible and the income is negligible. But they have a MASSIVE effect on the local economy in their immediate vicinity. That is why a local partner usually kicks in a large amount of money. People will find ways to spend their money, absolutely, but it likely won’t be within 2 miles of the NFL stadium and despite these comments there is a chance it won’t be in the state. I guarantee MN gets a lot of Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin money every time they have an NFL game from fans that wouldn’t otherwise come to Minneapolis.

    States themselves kick in money because of the positive attention that pro sports bring and the quality of life improvement that they provide for fans of the sport in question, more than the economic impact. Local partners pitch in for the economic impact because they feel it in concentrated form.

    Minnesota for example would suffer a loss in quality of life if we didn’t have the Vikings to help us get through the first half of winter. But how do you put a number on that?

  17. piemasteruk says: Jun 22, 2011 12:01 PM

    “piemasteruk I was just saying the money will not disappear just because there is no football. The money is in our pockets as consumers, its in the bank accounts of TV. It will be spent some where. I didnt say anything about public funding for staduim in my piece so I dont know where you got that from.”

    Um.., I’m not sure where you got the impression that I was responding to you. I quoted the main article and I was responding to that.

  18. blspears says: Jun 22, 2011 5:08 PM

    piemasteruk my bad

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