Fiscal 2023 DIF Account

Triple-A duel: Zimbalist vs. Matheson

Commonwealth Magazine August 22, 2018


  • Matheson says the Worcester plan is just another stadium giveaway. He decries the fact that the city is committing $70 million in public money to build a stadium for wealthy owners of the Red Sox farm team, and questions the use of new tax revenue to fund it from development projects that may well have occurred without a neighboring stadium. Matheson says the Worcester facility will be “the most expensive minor league ballpark in the history of the United States.” He says a minor league stadium generates about the same attendance, at a similar price point, as a movie multiplex, something no city would ever commit millions of dollars of public money to land. His bottom-line view of the plan, if it goes through as proposed: “You’ve just built a bunch of millionaires a new stadium with taxpayer money in order to get a hotel that was going to occur regardless.”
  • Zimbalist:   We have a ballpark that itself will cost somewhere between $86 and $90 million to build. The city also has to assemble some land parcels and then provide for remediation and relocation. And that’s another $8.5 million. So, if the ballpark itself is $86 million, then it’s a $94.5 million investment, and if it’s $90 million, then it’s a $98.5 million investment.   
  • Zimbalist:     I think what’s different, or the main thing that’s different here, is that there’s a commitment of $90 million-plus from Denis Dowdle and Madison Properties for this ancillary development.


There are just too many points to list.   You need to read the entire column..

After the 1st inning , Matheson 9 

Zimbalist 0

and he struck out 3 times

Is there a "mercy rule" between battling economists.


Anonymous said…
Very interesting article even though it is about economist's perspectives.
Why didn't the City hire Matheson. He seems to be more pragmatic and apparently knows the landscape better. The fact that he predicted back then that Polar Park would be the most expensive minor league park all the way back in 2018 shows he appears to be more on the ball than Zimbalist. Finally, what is Dwodle on the hook for financially if he does not build the development he proposed?
Anonymous said…
How did Zimbalist go from $100 million to $160 million for the ballpark. I thought economists understood math. He would get an F for a grade at my school.
Common Sense said…
I attended my first Woosox game last night. I had an awesome time. It gives you a certain civic pride to sit inside a beautiful stadium that Worcester can call its own. They really do a good job of giving fans a great experience. It was also nice to see the many kids having a great time. When we were waiting in line Charles Steinberg (the team president) was playing a guitar and singing for us. I paid $75 for two good seats, four hot dogs with two drinks and parking. It's was very affordable for the average fan that is now priced out of attending a Red Sox game in Boston.

I'm still with you guys about the economic spin-off. I didn't see any of the fans that were departing take a left out of the stadium towards Kelly Square. It could be another situation like the Hanover where people see a show, head to the garage and burn gas out of Worcester. Maybe a Friday or Saturday game would have a bigger impact on the Canal District.

Massport spent $100 million plus on ORH only to have an airport with zero flights. The "Big Dig" was originally priced out at $2 billion which turned into $20 billion. Hopefully this won't turn into another boondoggle.
Bill Randell said…
Everyone we know who has gone to a game has enjoyed the experience. Nobody is debating that.

As far as the Hanover-ORH-Big Dig, none of these projects fell solely on the backs of the Worcester taxpayers. The taxpayers of Worcester own Polar Park, we do not own the Hanover, Worcester Airport or the Big Dig.

Our concern right is how much will Polar Park cost the taxpayers? Does anyone really know right now??? As a stockholder in the City of Worcester we would like to know?
Anonymous said…
I am not a not a baseball fan and probably will never go to a game, but I have attempted two times to go out to eat only to be met with the lack of parking. I ended up going to Shrewsbury St. I just hope my experience does not hurt the restaraunts on Water St.
Anonymous said…
Went to the game last night and had a great time. I decided to try parking across the street and avoid Madison St. I drove over Lamartine St which is in awe full condition. The new street is great to get to the Polar Park the streets to get there are deplorable.
Common Sense said…
I parked at the Federal Street garage across from the Hanover. It was a ten minute walk to the park, but I only paid $5.

I'm not sure why you keep talking about the costs of the stadium and the accounting. The park has already been built and the bonds have been floated. It seems you're bitter because your beloved Worcester Airport has gone the tubes (for good) so you need to vent.

Massport is losing millions keeping the lights on at ORH. They should dump the whole thing to a developer for $250-300 Million. Then a biotech/manufacturing park could be put there that would create 5,000 jobs. The airport in Sterling could be upgraded to handle the civilian aircraft that now use ORH. The runway could be expanded for the occasional corporate jet. Only a few entities and people own the land around Sterling so they could easily be bought out for nice profits. Once our fine sheriff leaves the board at Massport these things are going to be considered.
Anonymous said…
Interesting observation from a friend that went to the game on Saturday. He was supposed to meet 10 friends from the Boston area, made plans to meet at Buck’s on Green Street at 1:30. Game started at 4:00. Bucks was closed. They went down the street to the Banner, which was extremely crowded and there was a line to get in well before the game started. Buck’s has been complaining about the negative impact of the new ballpark. Shame on them.
Anonymous said…
There is a major difference between the airport and polar park. No one ever said the airport would not cost us taxpayers.
Anonymous said…
Buck's hours on Saturday are 2pm - 10pm.