Stadium proponents claim the project will produce 12,000 jobs.
Sometimes you wonder where business and political leaders find numbers that fit the narrative that building a stadium and or an arena is an economic generator that will create thousands of jobs. In Hawaii, there is a push to build a stadium near Honolulu to replace an old facility that used to house the National Football League’s Pro Bowl and the University of Hawaii football games. The stadium was the home to the World Football League’s Hawaiians in 1974. There will be a 35,000-seat stadium coming eventually and might be big enough for college football, some soccer league and rugby matches. The state of Hawaii will invest at least $350 million into the project which is set to begin with a groundbreaking ceremony in the fall of 2023. Private investors plan to sink $1.65 billion for what is being projected as a “stadium-village” project which will include 3,000 affordable housing units, a hotel with the usual retail and office space. Not far from the planned stadium are plenty of hotels and motels because people travel to vacation in Hawaii for beaches and surfing, not high school football. But the planned hotel is there for high school teams that might play in the facility. The National Football League is not returning to play a Pro Bowl in Hawaii although if local promoters come up with enough money, there could be an NFL preseason contest at the stadium.
There is one item about the planned stadium-village worth examining. The claim. The New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is expected to provide over 12,000 full and part-time jobs to local residents, with an estimated personal earnings around $600 million. Where did the planners get the figure of 12,000 jobs? What kind of jobs will be created? Minimum wage positions or good paying jobs? Stadium-villages generally create low wage jobs.
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