In 2008, I had an opportunity to tell students at Widener University in Chester along with elected officials who attended the talk about the pitfalls for municipalities of getting into the stadium and/or arena building business. The talk seemed to go over well with the students yet the politicians, though they did not tell me to me face that I was wrong, thought I was wrong.
The proposed stadium plan would include office space, exposition center, retail space, 1,350 car parking garage, riverwalk, townhouses and apartments. In addition to $80 million from private investors, the county has pledged $30 million and the state has promised $47 million to the project. Supporters are hoping that all-in-all it will provide 2,600 construction jobs, 360 permanent jobs and generate more than $1.7 billion in total economic activity.
Chester politicians and the local newspaper didn't see the downside of paying for a sports facility and hoping businesses would come although if they did some research there was a major example of futility available for them to see at the time in St. Louis after a new baseball stadium was built and planned development around the ballpark was just a dream.
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