Monday, June 18, 2007

Comparison shopping

Smart consumers look around before they buy things. The bigger the purchase, the more research. For a 10-year-old Toyota to get Junior back and forth to school, you might spend an hour reading Edmunds or Kelly Blue Book, and maybe run a Carfax report. For something more substantial like a house, you might spend a few days on Multiple Listings and Google maps to get the lay of the land, then make your realtor search for comparable sales.

So guess how much comparison shopping was done by Santa Clara City Council for an $854 million football stadium?

Here's a hint... The City's own consultants threw in an oh-by-the-way at the end of their report. They pointed out that a hypothetical office building would generate 5 times the fiscal benefits, while requiring no subsidy from the taxpayers. Immediately all guns came out a-blazin' as if Wyatt Earp himself just popped in at the O.K. Corral!

"Look at all the empty buildings sitting around," the stadium supporters say. "Riding the elevator up and down doesn't count (as entertainment)," they say.

Hey, calm down, gents! Nobody said for sure we're going to build the next Sun campus. Folks are just trying to point out that a big bunch of buckeroonies is about to be spent on another Candlestick, and we as a city have not really looked around to see if there might be better options.

The Vietnamese have a saying, "Có tật, giật mình."

"The guilty are jumpy."

The Beijing Olympics can't come around soon enough. Some sport fans from around here might really clean up on the high jump.

1 comment:

Buchanan said...

Great observations and analogy !