Monday, August 01, 2011

When it comes to Nassau Coliseum coverage, Times reporters express skepticism for sports facility projections, give prominence to critic saying emphasis on sports distracts from real estate deal

Today's Times article, $400 Million Plan on Nassau Coliseum Goes to Vote, contained a couple of astonishing paragraphs.

First, a declaration, sans caveat, that projections are generally overblown:
As cities like Cincinnati, Houston and Seattle have learned, the construction of stadiums and arenas almost always costs more than expected, rarely produces the economic benefits initially promised and can saddle local governments with tens of millions of dollars in debts, driving holes through budgets.
Ok, so why did that Times, at the arena groundbreaking last year, uncritically quote outlandish statements about Atlantic Yards benefits?

The article closes with a gimlet-eyed view of what's at stake:
“[Islanders owner Charles] Wang wants to make money and [County Executive Ed] Mangano wants to save the Islanders,” said Clifford B. Sondock, the president of the Land Use Institute, which opposes the project. “Ed and Charles have made this an issue of the Islanders when it is really a real estate deal.”
And what about "Jobs, Housing, and Hoops"?

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