Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Seattle's Stadium and Ballpark Hurt Business

Oddly, there are businesses in the vicinity of the Mariners' ballpark and Seahawks' stadium that want tax relief to help them withstand the negative impact on business resulting from game-day crowds.

House Bill 3251, if passed, would give the establishments in Seattle's "Chinatown/International District" a tax cut -- eliminating the extra 0.5 percent sales tax on food and beverages used to pay for part of the cost of constructing those athletic facilities.

In the House Bill Report is this interesting testimony for the bill:

Information from the business improvement area indicates that, for certain restaurants, receipts dropped by between 40 and 100 percent on recent Seahawk game days. One of the additional tools for the stadia financing is the additional 0.5 percent sales tax on restaurants in King County. We're asking that for the 70 or so restaurants within this district that the tax be converted to a state-shared tax to lift some of the burden off of these folks. This would help make whole a small fragile community that is disproportionately affected by the stadia.

Back when the public financing of those facilities was being advocated, the positive impact on businesses in the area was touted.

Who is benefiting from the crowds of fans going to and from the stadium and ballpark, if not the nearby businesses?

What would a NASCAR speedway in Kitsap County do for local businesses? Is there a safe distance from the crowds where a business could benefit rather than suffer?


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