[Contingent Valuation Method] asks people a hypothetical question: suppose their local team was going to move if they didn’t get a new arena. How much would you be willing to pay per year in higher taxes in order to keep that team? Professor Bruce K. Johnson of Centre College, one of the best-known practitioners of this method, has repeated the CVM technique in various cities, and the results are almost unanimous: the willingness to pay is much smaller than the typical stadium subsidy, about one-fifth on average.
I don't know of any actual numbers, but intuitively, I'd imagine there is a difference between building a "destination" downtown where it could be potentially surrounded by businesses (bars, restaurants, hell, even private parking) and building a huge stadium out in the cornfields surrounded by acres of parking lot, where people drive to the game and then drive home.
In the agreement, several aspects of which have not been finalized and would require approval from the D.C. Council, the District and United would split the costs for the project, with the city providing about $150 million to assemble land and prepare the site and the team spending a similar amount building the stadium. Levien said the team had yet to decide whether to build a 20,000-seat stadium with room for expansion or build 25,000 seats at the start.
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