I've been writing about Bradley Center subsidization and it's overblown economic impacts since 2009.
From the report:
The gross dollar impact of the Bradley Center on the Metro Milwaukee area totals $204.5 million, with 2,350 jobs supported, generating $73.1 million in annual payroll. The MMAC estimates the yearly direct revenue generated by the Bradley Center at $95.8 million.
Many of these direct dollars spent as part of Bradley Center events are re-spent in the local economy supporting more localized economic activities (indirect impacts) and producing an even greater total impact on the metro region – the so called multiplier effect.
Through a review of Bradley Center ticket sales, the MMAC estimates that approximately 70% of its attendees are local in origin (from the metro area). Conversely, 30% are estimated to come from outside the four-county metro Milwaukee area and with it new spending into the metro area. This gives an approximate estimate of base economic activity generated by the Bradley Center’s presence, or net new dollars pulled into the metro area.
The MMAC estimates annual new spending generated directly by the Bradley Center by non-local sources at $41.6 million. For the metro area analysis, a 70% local – 30% non-local split was used in evaluating net new output resulting from Bradley Center activity. However, for Milwaukee County, a review of ticket sales figures suggest that a 50% local (from Milwaukee County) – 50% non-local split is more appropriate. Because of this split, a larger share of the direct money spent is new to Milwaukee County.
The bottom line impact for Milwaukee County is a gross economic output measure of $180.3 million, including both direct and indirect impacts. More critically, net new impacts or new money brought into Milwaukee County totaled $106 million (direct and indirect), with a job impact of 1,063, payroll of $29.5 million and new state and local tax revenue of $10.8 million.
The economic attractiveness of a metro area is in part determined by the variety of choices that residents have in the region in which they live. Among the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S., metro Milwaukee ranks No. 1 in major league seat availability per-capita. In addition, metro Milwaukee ranks fifth highest in the number of performing arts companies per-capita among 21 benchmark metro areas. The opportunity to choose among a variety of activities has value, not only economic development value but real dollar value. While it is beyond the scope of this white paper, there is a tangible value afforded in having the choice of going to a Milwaukee Bucks game or a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performance vs. a movie at the local theater. A significant group of residents will choose major league entertainment over other options, everything else equal; thus, there is value to that choice.
As the UWM-Center for Economic Development notes in a study of another one of the Milwaukee development community's white elephants (PabstCity), "No venue in Milwaukee draws anything close to 30 percent of its visitors from outside the region. The Calatrava, with all its national and international publicity and iconic status, draws substantially less than 30% of its visitors from outside Milwaukee. Events such as the Wisconsin State Fair and Summerfest draw close to that figure, but these are once a year “special events,” with state-wide and civic participation and sponsorship."
MMAC uses multipliers provided by the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis "to account for the full impact of an economic stimulus. The initial impact (direct) is the output created initially by this stimulus. To the extent that these dollars are re-spent and re-circulated through the local economy, they end up having a multiplied effect. If you account for subsequent rounds of spending, you would reach the total multiplied effect of this stimulus."
Suddenly the lobbying arm of metro Milwaukee commerce believes in Keynesian multipliers? Conservatives, generally, believe for every dollar the government spends, spending elsewhere in the economy falls by the same amount. Thus, government spending negates any multiplier effect in the economy, according to conservatives. I guess when they need a certain outcome (the Bradley Center has a huge economic impact), their economic principles are a bit more flexible. [But, if the multiplier effect is real, what's their excuse against more stimulus to get the economy back near full employment?]