The picture is the provincial capital of Saskatchewan, located in scenic Regina. It looks nice enough, but recent reports from the provincial government indicate that someone has been drinkin’ the old economic impact cool aid over there. A recent propaganda “feasibility study”issued by the provincial government claims that building a new 33,000 seat domed stadium with retractable roof for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in downtown Regina will generate $30 million dollars of annual new economic impact in the province and create 1000 jobs. The Rough Riders already play in Regina, so it’s unclear to me where all this new spending is going to come from.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a recent paper of mine that assesses 30 years of research on the question of what sort of tangible economic benefits flow from professional sports facilities. Cliff’s Notes version: $0 in new income, 0 new jobs, one $400 million bond issue to pay off over the next 30 years.