Our post yesterday on the economic impacts of stadiums drew some interesting comments and e-mails, so we thought it make sense to stay on that topic. We were reminded of the situation in Harrison, where Red Bull Arena has been the subject of much debate and controversy. Last year, Deadspin offered this unique take on the issues facing the relationship. Snide remarks notwithstanding, the article notes some of the substantial expenses the municipality incurred as a result. Last year, Bloomberg weighed in on the issue and noted the substantial debt load incurred by the City.
The Bloomberg article is worth a read. Like the stadiums we discussed yesterday, the Harrison project was anticipated to be part of a larger development that has not come to pass. The article argues that town officials were mislead by promises, a common refrain among politicians involved in stadium projects.
Bloomberg recently followed up with word that a Court had ruled that the Red Bulls owe a substantial amount of property taxes to the City of Harrison. This paragraph from the article is instructive: “Harrison, with 13,620 residents, had bet the soccer stadium would jump-start redevelopment in a community where per-capita income is 63 percent of the state average, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The town borrowed $39 million in 2006 to buy and clean up the site, while Hudson County chipped in $45 million for a parking garage and the team paid $200 million to build the Red Bull Arena.”