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Author: madamhusker1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5  
Subject: Where is the sanity?! Date: 8/19/2004 3:10 PM
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I live in north central Texas, and our city will be placing a stadium issue on the upcoming November 2nd ballot. Being completely against the use of public money to build this stadium, (for the Dallas Cowboys, owned by billionaire Jerry Jones,) I've been closely following the progress of this insane idea. Basic agreement terms, to the best of my understanding: (And yes, I do have an actual copy of the "economic benefit study" done for the city by a consulting firm, which I have gone over twice.)

+ Mr. Jones has put a pricetag on this stadium of $625M, for which the city will cough up half. ($325M)

+ The estimated bond expense will be around $648M, to be paid off over 30 years. (Payments of $5 - $6M per year.)

+ The economic impact study, completed and presented by the consulting firm, was done in only 2 weeks. All projected revenue figures were compiled on information supplied by the DALLAS COWBOYS. The study was paid for by the DALLAS COWBOYS.

+ The city will own the stadium, thus removing the property on which it sits from county tax rolls. After 30 years, the team has the option to buy the stadium for $100M, less any previous lease payments. (Lease payments @ $2M per year, for a total of $60M.)

+ Local sales tax would be increased 1/2%. Hotel and car rental taxes would also increase slightly.

+ A 10% ticket tax, as well as a $3.00 parking tax, would go to the Cowboys. (To help them recoup their investment.)

+ The city would receive 5% of any naming rights income. (My guess is that naming rights would be in the $100M range, 95% of which would go to the team.)

+ The team would retain all income from concessions, souvenirs, etc.

So, in a nutshell, the city will receive lease payments of $2M per year, POSSIBLE increased sales tax revenue of $1.5 - $2.9M per year. No parking or seat taxes, no food or beverage income, and at the end of this term, is essentially giving away a $650M, retractable roof stadium, for $40M. Wouldn't you expect that as a partner in chipping in for the building, the least you would expect in return is a cut of the income?

Now, I respectfully ask all you sensible Fools... would this make sense to you? Our current city budget has a $16M deficit; cutbacks last year for a similar deficit resulted in pool closures, limiting library operational hours, department layoffs, and other measures which were extremely unpopular with residents.

Our city has a conservative history, voting down tax increases in previous recent elections. If this issue were presented as a stand-alone election item, it would surely be defeated. However, coinciding with the presidential election, more people would actually vote, which is what the supporters are counting on.

According to my math, the city will NEVER recover it's "investment" in this venture, and all the "regional economic impact" in the world can't be justified by this expenditure. The study used to qualify this stadium was seriously flawed, based on the very limited amount of information used, and by the fact that any favorable impact would be "new" money. The Cowboys already play nearby, in Irving, within 20 miles of where I live. They would only be moving to another suburb and county, so any monies spent by attendees now is already in the local economy.

No COST impact study was done... not a single mention of what it will take to maintain this facility has surfaced.

I don't have a major in economics, but it is apparent even to an ignoramous like me that the team gets the goldmine and the city gets the shaft. How in the world do you convince supporters of this fiasco that it's a terrible waste of their tax dollars? This is shaping up to become practically an all-out war, and the logical information just doesn't seem to penetrate the skulls of some who vote strictly on emotion.

Sorry about the length of this, but wanted to include as many facts as I could. Please post your thoughts on this, and complete the poll too, if you can.

Respectfully yours,

madamhusker1

(Who believes the billionaires can afford to build their own sandboxes.)
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