Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Golfing Con

"A golfing coup for Wisconsin," or so the Journal Sentinel declares.

Erin Hills, of Hartford, will host the PGA's 2017 U.S. Open.

The Journal believes this will encompass, "Gobs of television exposure and folks seeing the sights and spending lots of money in the state." For years the Journal has been backing any sporting event and/or stadium as a win-win situation. No questions asked.

Sadly, they don't mention the costs incurred by the public in hosting such an event. Which, alongside the economic principle of substitution, means sporting events are rarely economic-winners for their host.

I'm all for promoting the state and our many amenities and sites, and I'm an avid golfer, but blind boosterism does not equate to sound economic development analysis nor policy. This is great for Erin Hills, but the devil will be in the details as we get closer to the event and see what is required of the taxpayers in preparing (paying) Hartford and the golf course for this experience.

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