Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pro Sports Stadiums,0,2970914.column

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that will make it easier to build a 75,000-seat football stadium in the city of Industry, by exempting the venue from state environmental laws.

While that doesn't guarantee that the stadium will actually be built -- it's up to an NFL owner to pony up the cash for that -- it does remove the biggest hurdle by far in the entitlement process. The governor's rationale for doing something so dramatic -- in one of the most environmentally sensitive states, no less -- is he's been promised the project will create more than 18,000 jobs. That would be a huge boost to the local economy.

Now, if the Industry stadium creates 18,000 jobs -- a number many experts think is inflated -- and stadium deals in San Diego and the Bay Area create 36,000 more, maybe it's the NFL that winds up solving California's fiscal crisis.

Who wouldn't cheer that?
Interesting article in the LA Times that confirms the point on what industries the government has selected for success. A few points:
*Cal environmental laws often do not protect the environment but allow labor unions to protest projects prior to the developers meeting their salary demands.
*Job growth now comes from temporary construction projects that have limited employment benefits when completed (no national long term employment benefit if a team relocates)
*Interesting that the governor exempts a pro sports stadium but not other projects that could create long term employment benefits, this should clarify why I said the government favors pro sports and not manufacturing.

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