Jay Allen Sanford 9:45 p.m., May 19
Convention Center Glut Billowing, Says Journal
"From Boston to Austin, politicians spend money on fancy white elephants," says the Wall Street Journal in a piece dated Dec. 31. The Journal gives some compelling numbers: in 2010, the nation's convention centers had 86 million attendees. That compares with 126 million in 2000. In that period, the amount of convention space zoomed to 70 million square feet from 53 million square feet. "Optimistic projections about new facilities fail to account for how other cities are expanding, too," says the Journal. That is oh, so true.
Boston has had a string of convention center failures, all based on rosy projections by consultants. "The whole thing is a racket," says Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby. "Once again the politicos will expand their empire. Once again crony capitalism will enrich a handful of wired business operators." And taxpayers will be screwed. Jacoby is right: it's a racket.