Economic ImpactNo Kingsford Stadium

Hollow promises of economic benefit: Kingsford Stadium won't help the local economy

The jobs issue? What kind of jobs would a football stadium bring to the local area? Certainly not staff jobs relating to training and the organisation of the football club; these roles are already filled.  The jobs that a football stadium would bring are low-paid, unskilled and casual/part-time.  Most often these are minimum wage, zero-hours contracts and are operated by the likes of G4S and Capita to provide services to the stadium. There is relatively little demand for this type of work in the area of Kingswells and Westhill; this area needs roles for our skilled, qualified workers who are looking for roles in the energy sector and developing new businesses; particularly in these difficult times when 1 in 6 jobs in the sector is threatened. And the academic research backs up this statement.  Dr. Larissa E. Davies, writing in her paper “Sport and the Local Economy: The Effects of Stadia Development on the Commercial Property Market” states “…while stadia provide jobs to the local community, the scale and quality of these is often uncertain and they are frequently low skill, low paid, casual or part time (Rosentraub, 1997; Jones, 2002)”.  Baade (1996) found no statistically significant effects of stadiums and arenas on employment. The conclusion of Coates and Humphreys (2003) is particularly damning:

“…our results shed new light on the reason that professional sports reduce the level of income in cities. The negative effect of sports on earnings of employees of restaurants and bars, and on employment in Retail and Services supports the idea that sports reduce real per capita income in cities through both substitution in private spending and through the creation of new jobs which pay less than the average prevailing wage.”
So, it won’t bring the jobs that are needed or the positive benefit to the community that those supporting it promise.

Economic Benefit? What benefit?

And before any plans are published, we can correctly state that the economic impact assessment, that will no doubt support the planning application, will over-inflate any possible economic benefit – this is a common pattern with these planning applications – as indicated in several research articles (Crompton, 1995; Noll and Zimbalist, 1997; Jones, 2002).  In Jones, 2002, he states: “…research [has] questioned the extent to which growth rates are affected at all”. Coates and Humphreys (2003) measured the impact on many different sectors of the economy finding a small positive effect in only one sector: amusement and recreation.   Zimbalist and Noll (1997) find that sports teams and facilities are not a source of local economic growth and employment. Again, Dr Larissa E. Davies states:
“Moreover, others conclude that in reality sports stadia deliver little in economic terms (Baade and Dye, 1990; Baade, 1995, 1996; Humphreys, 2001; Rosentraub, 1997) and are not in fact the economic development engines they claim to be (Chaplin, 2002).”
A stadium will not bring growth to the area. This is a fact. The development of a stadium at Kingsford may fill the pockets of the developers involved but will certainly strip local authorities, city and shire, of significant resources – resources which they will need to deploy to support the development.  This is particularly worrying at a time when local authorities need to save tens of millions from their budgets.  Consider the impact this will have; diverting funds from schools, social care and other essential services.

Negative impact of stadium events on local trade

Events will have a significant negative impact on retail sales in both Westhill and Kingswells. Due to the amount of congestion caused on event days, regular shoppers will avoid the town shopping centres when the stadium is in use (see Cardiff City Council, 2002). This will result in reduced retail trade on event days and a perceived decrease in associated retail property values.

Hey, but what about the construction?

Despite the claims of developers and their supporters, there is no evidence that new sport stadia generate significant new economic growth or employment for the region where the investments are made. The multiplier/stimulus effect from the construction is no greater and in some cases less than spending upon other forms of infrastructure, such as housing and transportation.  There would be greater economic benefit if the land was used for another purpose such as housing or business development; which would have a significantly higher economic benefit (but we are against any development in this space as it is identified green belt, separating the towns of Kingswells and Westhill).

Summing up: the answer is less than zero

When all of the evidence is presented it is absolutely clear that there is no employment or economic benefit to be derived from a new stadium development at Kingsford.  Saying that it would, well, that’s a stance for people who believe in the tooth fairy – go find the evidence…it just doesn’t exist. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]]]>

3 thoughts on “Hollow promises of economic benefit: Kingsford Stadium won't help the local economy

  1. I fully support and agree with all the views expressed above. Please add me to your mailing list.

  2. We are totally against the plans for this stadium to be built in and around Westhill, why we ask are they talking about taking football fans who predominately reside south of Aberdeen over to the west of the city, surely land is plentiful on the south side of the city. This would avoid the disruption to traffic, even considering the new bypass. We first came to Westhill The Garden Suburb of Aberdeen in the 70’s, the green belt between the Westhill and the city has continually been eroded spoiling the whole countryside as well as the environmental implications. We are already having to suffer the mismanagement of council planning for the soon to become derelict industrial site on the entrance to our town. Westhill can not accommodate such a plan, we can hardly cope with the extra population as it is, can’t imagine the implications of thousands of football fans evading our public and private facilities, consideration should be given to what can be witnessed in the pubs and streets local to Pittoddrie on match days. Westhill currently still holds its head up above other Aberdeen suburbs, this must be stopped, whatever it takes, get the residents to speak and no longer the money grabbing, inconsiderate, incompetent panel of no-gooders who are trying to make a name for themselves. Plenty more to say on this very sore subject, we are with you all the way.

  3. AFC, the P&J and George Yule ramping up the pressure predicting a dire future for AFC is Kingsford doesn’t go ahead. Are the councillors going to accept this?
    Most Dons fans are against the relocation too.

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