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December 20, 2010


Casting a critical eye on arena/stadium job predictions

by Deena Winter

MinnPost – Jay Weiner: Vikings stadium jobs: Gov. Dayton, beware! And have someone check those employment numbers.

This is a good example of how a journalist should cover job projections for arena and stadium projects. Nice to see I’m not the only reporter/blogger skeptical of the job projections that get thrown around when somebody’s trying to get a stadium/arena built!
CSL, by the way, did several feasibility studies for Lincoln before the city voted to build a new arena last spring. And Mortenson Construction was chosen to be the construction manager for Lincoln’s $340 million arena project.
It’s also worth noting that a consultant (hired by Lincoln) projected the arena project would create nearly 8,000 jobs — the same number of jobs a new Vikings stadium has been projected to create, even though that project would cost $954 million — nearly three times as much as Lincoln’s.
I did a lot of research into the jobs and economic development projections that were heavily touted during Lincoln’s arena campaign. (Remember this story?)
Boy, did that story ever stir up some people. The editor edited it with a fine-toothed comb and we locked horns over some of the things he took out. The final version that was printed was not how I would have written it, but at least it was published.
Let’s just say when all the big hitters in town are behind a big project, editors get very antsy about stories that question the assumption.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Roger Yant
    Dec 20 2010

    Read the story. Like I have always said, a projection is a wild guess. Seems to be all the related stories in his article that the projections were always way off. We need to study this more here in town. I personally believe there will be lots of old boy cronyism and graft going on. Mike Foley needs to be in charge of watching and following the money. We don’t need the mayor and council watching over it, and for Gods sake keep the 2015 group away from the project. Lets see how many of the 2015 group get some type of contract to do some work on the arena. There better be a ledger sheet on every cent spent on the project. We don’t need what happened to the Antelope Valley Project, some of the money can’t be accounted for.

  2. Andrew B
    Dec 27 2010

    I am willing to bet – even with a lot of latitude as to what they describe as a “job” – that they barely cross halfway to 8k.


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