LeBron could rule New York

7 06 2010

New York City often takes itself very seriously. With three-plus years of experience living in Manhattan, I can say that it’s easy to think of this place being the center of the universe. So many influential companies are headquartered here, so much in our economy is tied in to what happens here and so much influence is derived from the arts, sports and music scenes that it’s sometimes hard to imagine life outside the city. And then there’s the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

In 2007, the EDC estimated that the 2008 MLB All-Star Game, to be played in Yankee Stadium, and its related events would have a $150 million impact on the city. B.S., said Darren Rovell and Robert Boland, two sports economists I spoke with. (They didn’t actually proclaim b.s. but that’s how I interpreted it based on their responses.) There are many things to consider when identifying the economic impact of an event. One particular facet that often goes unexplained by commissions like the EDC include is what economic impact would exist under normal circumstances, assuming the planned event wouldn’t exist. In other words, what would have been the normal economic impact on New York City during July 2008 had the All-Star Game never been operated there?

That’s basically what I’m asking two sports economists in this SLAMonline story about LeBron James’ potential financial impact on New York City. It’s potentially huge, according to the EDC, but how valid is their report?

Click on the link below to read the story.

LeBron the Financial King of New York

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