Although not posted online, today's N&R has another article on Greensboro's downtown revitalization. The article cites a whole host of projects (planned, in progress, and completed) that are transforming our Center City. The article focuses on the planned new park and mentions the contentious new baseball stadium as the two projects that will create the most "direct economic impact" for Greensboro with the stadium predicted to have more impact than the park. I respectfully disagree.
New baseball stadiums have rarely been proven to add ANY economic impact to a community's bottom line. For an overview of what experts say on the subject read this meticulously researched presentation by Ann Stringfield that was given to the Guilford County Commissioners during the "land swap" debate last October. A passage from her research:
Roger G. Noll, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institute and professor of Economics and Director of the Public Policy Program at Stanford University, indicates "Nearly all spending at the Stadium is simply shifted from other forms of entertainment like restaurants and movies"
The park will be open year round, 24/7 - a stadium would be open to fans only 70 times per year leaving it closed to the general public the other 295 days. Also, if a baseball stadium is supposed to magically attract economic development, how has the area surrounding War Memorial managed to resist such development since its opening in 1926?