Belatedly, the San Diego Union-Tribune is telling its readers: The firm that did the favorable study for the economic returns on the Petco stadium/redevelopment project — Conventions, Sports & Leisure International — has a history of issuing optimistic reports for such projects. And those reports have been challenged as methodologically flawed. The U-T story said:
In San Jose, an analysis by the Mercury News showed CSL’s study didn’t take into account costs of at least $42 million for the city to buy up the land for the A’s ballpark.
“You can’t really say that a ballpark is privately financed because those leases have a tendency to provide a sweetheart deal to the owner,’’ Paul Staudohar, baseball expert and professor emeritus of business administration at California State University-East Bay, told the Mercury News last September.
The U-T story is from its new Watchdog group, which aims to provide an independent and skeptical eye on government to “uphold the public trust.”
This is progress for the Union-Tribune. Now I’d like to see the newspaper start reporting such information first. Although the U-T has laid off lots of people, it still has far more resources than one-man operations like Don Bauder and Richard Rider. Imagine what a team of dedicated, hard-working reporters could do..