10:30 a.m., April 16
U-T Doesn't Identify Paid Consultant
The Union-Tribune is up to its old tricks. On today's front page (July 14) is a rave review, claiming that Petco Park has returned far more on the investment than expected. The study was done by a firm that specializes in sports consulting. I have not had a chance to read the study yet, and probably won't for awhile. But there is one thing that stands out about the Union-Tribune's coverage of the story: it devotes four paragraphs to the opinions of sports economist Mark Rosentraub of the University of Michigan, who is enthusiastic about the purported results. But the U-T story does not state that Mark Rosentraub was a paid consultant in the development of the ballpark and surrounding real estate. This information could have been culled from the pages of the U-T. Rosentraub calls the Petco project "a model of how you can use a stadium to rebuild an entire neighborhood." The last time I talked with him, for a Reader column that ran Aug. 26 of last year, he was raving about all the buildings (condos, hotels) that have been built in the ballpark district. I told him those condos had very few residents and the hotels had very few guests. He had no response.