Thursday, May 01, 2008

round 4

It seems Republican SL County Councilman David Wilde think they have found a work around to Mayor Carroon insistance not to throw County tax dollars away.
[N]o money will actually go straight to the stadium.

Instead, the county might extend a deal that gives Sandy $300,000 a year for the Sandy Amphitheater. The county has provided that funding for several years now, but the deal was supposed to end this year.

By extending the deal, Sandy won't have to come up with that $300,000, leaving Sandy free to "shift its funds" to other projects, like the $110 million stadium for Real Salt Lake, Salt Lake County Councilman David Wilde [R] said.

"It's not money that we are giving toward the stadium," Wilde said. "We're giving money toward an amphitheater. Again, I guess there is sort of a wink and a nod saying if you guys in Sandy want to somehow rearrange your funds and somehow give it to the stadium, that's OK."

So why do this? Wilde claims it is a quid pro quo for Sandy's helping the County get more money for roads, Democratic Councilman Joe Hatch claims that the Oxbow Jail, the restaurant tax, road funding and the soccer stadium were all discussed in one big meeting but that none of these items were bartered for another. Carroon says he is trying to play nice with Sandy, to show there's no hard feelings.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said his decision to extend the amphitheater funding has nothing to do with the stadium.
"We're trying to extend an olive branch out to Sandy to say maybe we don't support some of the projects you're doing, but we do overall support Sandy city," Corroon said.
And the amphitheater, which hosts multiple concerts and musicals throughout the year, fits into the county's overall vision for arts scattered across the county.
Oh and Carroon's initial assessment--that the stadium was not worth taxpayer's support--has been borne out.
A new study by the University of Utah Center of Public Policy and Administration says sports stadiums have not shown significant positive impact on local economies.

"In fact, a sports franchise has about the same scale of economic effect as a large grocery store," according to the study, which was released Wednesday.

However, quality-of-life issues may justify continued public financing, according to the study.
That is, if Larry Miller were to hold SLC hostage and says he will move the Jazz to say Oklahoma City unless the city ponies up millions for a new stadium, well then Utahns will not like their life as much if the team leaves, so a city should try to keep a team in town. But if a team is marginal, and doesn't even fill its current stadium except when someone like David Beckham or the national team comes to town, then there is no need to spend $110 million when you could spend just a few million for a Super Target in Sandy (and get more economic bang for your buck).

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