A few months ago, to great fanfare and little public notice the City of Anaheim released, as part of the supporting documentations for the much criticized “Negotiations Framework” MOU between the Angels and Anaheim, an economic impact study prepared by Texas-based Conventions, Sports & Leisure. The purpose was to explain the tremendous economic benefits to the City of Anaheim from hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In an article first published on Friday, the Orange County Register’s Martin Wisckol shines a bright interrogation light on the veracity of the CSL study. The caption on the lead photo tees off the premise of his story. “The city of Anaheim on average has lost money on a year-to-year basis from Angel Stadium under its contract with the team over the past 16 years, city figures show.”
From the story lede:
A report to the city of Anaheim on the economic effects of Angels baseball at the “Big A” is so replete with unsubstantiated assumptions that it can’t be used as a reliable indicator of the team’s financial impact on the city, interviews and public records show.
One sports economist dismissed the entire city-funded report, saying the Texas consultant that performed it is in the business of providing cities and teams with reports that show favorable financial outcomes.
“Based on everything else I’ve seen CSL do, this is a promotional study,” said Andrew Zimbalist, co-author of “Sports, Jobs and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums.” “If CSL came out with a study that said Anaheim had no positive economic impact, they wouldn’t get any more work.”
The biggest source of Angels-related funding to city coffers – 58 percent – comes from hotel taxes, according to the report. This is one of numerous disputed estimates, with critics raising several challenges:
• The background assumption – not stated in the report – that 18 percent of all Angels ticket buyers spend the night in a local hotel has been challenged by Mayor Tom Tait, among others. “That would be nearly 7,000 people a game. That’s unlikely.”
• Some hotel guests come to town for other reasons and then decide to attend a game, meaning their hotel occupancy would not be affected if the team wasn’t in Anaheim, Zimbalist said.
Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman is standing solidly behind the report, telling the Register; “I absolutely believe the report,” he said. “It’s a reputable company.”
We suggest that our readers take the time to read the full article here. If you are not a Register subscriber you will need to pay the $2 one-day charge, but it will be well worth it if you are interested in this issue.