the U.S. House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Domestic Policy,
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
March 29, 2007
Frank D. Rashid
“…In selling these projects to the public, local officials made plenty of promises about the benefits they would bring: new jobs, economic spin-off from stadium-related activities, contracts for minority firms, increased city revenues for more police and city services.
Not one of these promises has been fulfilled.
In the last two years, the city has hosted major league baseball’s All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, and the World Series, but city residents have seen no lasting benefits from these highly touted events. The city faces a financial crisis, with two consecutive years of deficit and has had to cut police and fire protection, library hours, and trash pickup among other city services.
Comerica Park and Ford Field have been in operation for six and four seasons respectively, but the blessings of major league sports have yet to rain down upon the people of Detroit. The owners of the two teams, on the other hand, have been blessed with dramatically increased franchise value.
They have also taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by the new stadiums to raise ticket prices.
In effect, we gave hundreds of millions of dollars to two billionaires so they could charge higher prices and become even wealthier. This is called urban development...
Full Text of Prepared Testimony