Limited economic impact of Redskins training camp on Richmond business
So says the Richmond Times-Dispatch ("Redskins training camp’s boost for local businesses is minimal"). The article says that businesses directly proximate to the training camp are seeing a significant uptick in business, but businesses a few blocks away are not. From the article:
A few people have been stopping by after the afternoon practices, she said, but so far signs and ads on local sports radio haven’t brought out big numbers of fans. Monique Pecora, who had her food truck parked at Hardywood on Thursday, said she’d heard from other trucks that business had been very slow during lunch. The group of food trucks decided to scale back and have just one vendor on site during lunch.
Interestingly, some locally owned businesses are complaining that the Redskins' focus on relationships with national restaurant chains interferes with their ability to gain business, and they point out that Richmond city meals tax revenues are being used in part to subsidize the training camp ("Council members question Redskins' cost increase," Richmond Times-Dispatch), so they are getting dissed. From the first article:
Fans attending training camp are allowed to bring in food and non-alcoholic beverages. There are three on-site food options: Famous Dave’s, Johnny Rockets and Papa John’s. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder owned Johnny Rockets until June, when his private equity firm, Red Zone Capital Management, announced it would sell the burger chain to Sun Capital Partners.
The decision to work with three national chains isn’t sitting well with some local restaurateurs.
Jake Crocker, who owns F.W. Sullivan’s and three other restaurants in the Fan, with a fifth opening downtown in a few months, said his lunch business has been down at all four of his restaurants.
“The city failed to mention that we helped fund this with our meals tax payments,” he said. “These projects seem like they’ll be great, but they don’t generate business because there is food on-site. I can’t believe we’ve got national chains in a facility built with taxpayer money.”
The difficulty in balancing local interests vs. team interests is evident. Thank goodness DC didn't give away a bunch of land and money for this (see the past blog entry "Unstrategy for economic development in DC").