Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

At Least It's Buried

Officials in Kansas City want NASCAR to build its Hall of Fame in their fair city. Never mind that this would be like putting the NHL Hall of Fame in Miami. Of course, there's the ever-present boost this would give to the local economy:

The group that is spearheading Kansas City's quest — which includes a varied collection of private and governmental groups — estimates that if built here, the hall would attract a million visitors annually and could produce a regional economic impact of between $50 million and $65 million a year.
So, the proposed Hall of Fame will cause one million people to travel to Kansas City, people who otherwise would not have visited KC. I also imagine that this "impact" includes things associated with events, like induction ceremonies, that will bring in large groups of NASCAR fans. Of course these events won't crowd out other events. Lastly, I'm sure that the Hall of Fame won't cause KC residents to alter their consumption patterns away from alternative activities.

"Community pride" is one thing that is often brought up when proponents of such things want governmental support for their project. Here's a piece that I wrote last year on how St. Louis got the Rams that suggests that a more appropriate source of community well-being to tout would be "community official ego."

Well, at least the economic impact statement was buried way down in the article.