A Little Too Ambitious--"Real"ly?

Mayor Peter Corroon and the Salt Lake County Council can wipe out a fairly big mistake if they act on the study recently conducted regarding building a new soccer stadium. The study indicates that Real Salt Lake's plan is too ambitious, and there will not be enough money to pay for the project even in the best of scenarios.

I once served on a city council, where we had a large development group approach us with plans for a wonderful development of commerce, golf courses, gated communities, and everything else they could think of. But we had to act fast, because if we didn't they would go somewhere else. Against my wishes, we acted fast, and luckily our town didn't get stuck with any of the bill except our city's credit rating has now become suspect. There are a few homes now (6 years later) in the once-promised shangrila.

This is why I see Dave Checketts' and Real Salt Lake's proposal for a new stadium in Sandy as a dangerous undertaking for MOST of those involved. It ain't gonna work. And Dave Checketts WILL NOT be left holding the bag. Can you guess who will?

Here's what they want:
  1. $30 million in hotel tax revenue from the county
  2. $15 million in redevelopment money from Sandy City
  3. $29 ticket prices
  4. 12 packed concerts per year in the new stadium
  5. Dipping into rosily-projected Major League Soccer profit sharing revenues
And after all this, a study by Economics Research Associates projects that there will not be enough revenue to fund the debt. I can only assume that this takes into account the highway robbery that Real allowed DC United to get away with when it acquired Freddy Adu.

Land developers aren't the only ones famed for producing unscrupulous economic projections. Sports franchises do, too.

City and county officials will have their decision as early as Monday (Jan 22, 2007). I certainly hope they decide to be as circumspect with public monies as I'm sure they are with their own.


  1. Years ago my parents taught me that when it comes to major financial decisions to back away if pressure is applied to do it right now. The sales folks are skilled at making it sound so urgent. I can still remember my mom saying, "If it's a good deal, it will still be around after you've had time to think clearly about it." Dad also counseled that if a deal is so hot that it evaporates while you're taking your time considering it, something else will likely come along. I still think that's good advice.


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