Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paying for Detroit sports venues

The sale of the Pistons not about the team and who owns them. It is about where they will play.

And, as L. Brooks Patterson said, it is not about the tax dollars because the big teams don't bring in that much tax revenue.

But it is about Michigan taxpayers footing the bill for yet another brand new sports venue in Detroit.

And the key word here is Detroit.

There are political forces who are very interested in reviving Detroit.

If you doubt that, just look back to the recent bankruptcy of General Motors. During the depths of that crisis, there was intervention that reportedly came from the White House to prevent the logical financial move -- which was to move the GM headquarters out of the RenCen in Detroit and out to the GM Tech Center in Warren.

That move would have saved GM a lot of money, but it would have been a body blow to Detroit.

Building Ford Field and Comerica Park are also based on a strategy of financially stimulating Detroit, not of placing the venues close to their fan bases.

All of those moves are not good business. And, you have to ask yourself, like many of the recent national economic stimulus moves, did any of these things actually work?

So here is my question: Can Michigan's ailing economy afford any more bad business decisions that don't work.

I'd say no.


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