Mar 29 2017PUBLIC MONEY, PRIVATE BENEFIT
Cuyahoga County Council approved the selling of $100 million in bonds Tuesday to help finance improvements to Quicken Loans Arena. The City of Cleveland will be paying as well, while Dan Gilbert and Rock Entertainment will chip in about half of the $282 million total cost. Could Gilbert pay for the whole thing himself? Yep. But why should he? Look, there isn't a single study that shows publicly financed stadiums and arenas have economic benefit for anyone but the team owners. They ALL lose money. They don't improve schools or neighborhoods. Sports teams generate player income tax, help develop businesses around the venues, and bring self-esteem (or kill it, thanks Browns). So there is value. But you can't put a $$$ figure on it. Well you can. In Cleveland it's $280 mil. And Gilbert's paying for half of it.