Tuesday, September 07, 2010

An occasional from The Curmudgeon


Joe here from LA, and I'll help Dear Leader el Brucio with some occasional postings.

Today, in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed piece, Dennis Coates, a self-described "sports fan" and professor of economics at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, rallies hard against a U.S. Bid for World Cup 2018 or 2022, mostly on the grounds that a supposed multi-billion windfall just isn't possible. Apparently, the Bid Committee claims that no taxpayer money will be needed to support the event. While I doubt that would really be the case, and we all know that FIFA earns record profits from the events and teams are lavishly treated (I think Maradona had Ed McMahon's gold toilet /goodbye old friend/ installed in his South African suite), as fans, we do understand that hosting the World Cup goes miles towards supporting the U.S. as a great Futbol Nation. Does that come at a cost? You bet. But we know that every stadium will be filled to the rafters, and plenty of touristas will visit our fair shores, as the sport is more popular than ever.

Coates claims the evidence "implicates" the 1994 World Cup, 2006 Germany, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and even 1974 Montreal Olympics (!!) as major financial drains. Coates seems to not realize that with South Africa and most any Olympic city, new venues have to be built and these events are actually excuses by government to improve transportation and other infrastructure. Fortunately, much of that infrastructure here is already in place thanks to the billions we pour into NFL American Gridiron stadia. Coates also nicely ignores that the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were financially successful, and could possibly prove a good template to build on.

My one complaint with the World Cup is how you see very little of the host nation on television outside of the venues themselves. But that's not FIFA's fault. It's the fault of any tourism board to not create interest in their nation.

What do you think about the Bid? Should the U.S. go for it? Or, should we just say "we're anti-tax now and can't see 8-12 years into the future. Let's go bury our head in the sand..."?

Op-Ed at L.A. Times


In other news, Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy covers future MLS scheduling issues with the expansion teams set to join the league next year, specifically, how to raise the competitiveness of MLS teams not just in the league, but with regards to other competitions as well.

Monday MLS Breakdown

joe out.


Blogger Colin said...

I think the US should host a World Cup. I also think that no public funds should be spent on it. Given how wildly popular I think a world cup would be, I don't think it should be too difficult for this thing to pay for itself.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous wes said...

Who is going to pay for the infrastructure? It would be impossible to not use public funds.

I think the economist is probably right--it won't bring a windfall, but it sure wouldn't be a bad boost to the economy. Do I want us to host it? Sure, but not for economic reasons.

5:35 PM  

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