Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Please contribute $1000 to the stadium.

How much would you be willing to contribute if your city decides to replace the roof on the stadium? What if an official went door to door, to collect contributions for the stadium upgrade? Would you give them a few dollars? It turns out, the government is going to spend 458 million dollars for a new roof, which is almost a 1000 dollars per resident (from baby to elderly) in Vancouver.

Boy oh boy.... that is a lot of money. Can we afford it amidst a recession? Nope. Do we need the new roof? No, not really: it will be built after the Olympics. Is it value for money? Well, no, Amsterdam built a stadium with retractible roof (same capacity) for $150M. Yes, you read that right: for the price of 1 Canadian roof, you could have 3 full stadia, including a retractible roof on each of them.

What is going on here? Is this the Canadian version of Keynesian economics? Surely, an amount this big is not going to the actual construction work force. I'm afraid the vast majority will end up in the pockets of mafia, and corrupt politicians. It is a sad, sad, story, not unlike the Dutch Betuwe lijn.