Measuring Economic Impact: Movies vs Soccer
There are two ways to provide economic incentives. The first way is to offer them at the back end of the deal. This is what the Utah Film Commission is doing, and it is reaping huge dividends. The second way is to give away the farm and then hope that economic dividends will be seen far in the future. It helps to offer platitudes for the duration of your hopefulness.
The first incentive provides a way for measurement of its benefits. The advocates of the second one hope you don't notice that theirs doesn't.
The Utah Film Commission offers rebates to successful film companies following the filming of their show.
The Utah State legislature and the Real Soccer deal? Well, they just give away $35 million of someone else's money and then say, "Trust me! It'll reap huge economic rewards!"
Utah began offering post-production performance incentives three years ago with the Motion Picture Incentive Fund (MPIF). Once a television show, movie or commercial shoot is completed, the production company can apply for a 10 percent rebate on the amount of money it can prove it spent while in Utah.
"For every dollar that goes out from the incentive fund, just under $15 come into the state of Utah," Schain explains. "That's a return on investment of 15-to-one. That's why 44 states offer an incentives. They offer it because of the enormous economic impact a film brings to their state."