Casting a critical eye on arena/stadium job predictions
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.