Joe Nocera on the possibility of the Raiders moving from Oakland to Las Vegas:
The problem for cities like Las Vegas, desperate to land an N.F.L. franchise — or cities trying to hold on to a team that is demanding a new, state-of-the-art stadium — is that the billionaire owners of these franchises usually expect municipalities to pick up part of the tab for the new arena. There are few municipalities that don’t succumb (though Oakland, to its everlasting credit, is one of them, which is why Davis wants to move). To justify using tax dollars to subsidize N.F.L. owners, officials invariably point to the jobs that will be added, the infrastructure that will be improved and the economic activity that will ensue.
And in almost every case, those benefits are overstated or bogus. The academic literature on this point is nearly unanimous. Brad Humphreys, who has done a number of such studies as an economics professor at West Virginia University, told me bluntly that a new stadium brings “no economic benefit.” All it does is move spending to a football game that was otherwise being spent somewhere else.
The NFL in Vegas seems like a shitshow just waiting to happen. In other words, perfect, and of course it will happen.Read more...