Background Material

See these sub-categories for Background Materials:

Official Presentations materials to come

Consultant Reports   a couple posted, more to come

Legal/MOUs/Bills materials to come

Talking Points/Writing Points summary points on various topics

Other Websites those for and against this boondoggle

convctrfolliescvrHeywood T Sanders’ book “Convention Center Folies: Politics, Power, and Public Investment in American Cities,” University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014 is the outstanding reference book to convention/conference center boondoggles around America. Quietly written, it has a score or so of case studies of publicly supported business ventures. He describes the various political narratives used to advance public funding, the forecast, and then the actual results. He looks at the interests involved, and the consultants. Sanders is a professor of public administration at the University of Texas, San Antonio. A native of Montgomery Co Maryland, he tells me he knows Frederick quite well. Several of us hope to be able to get him to visit and speak here before too long.

“Do we need to keep building convention centers?”

A review of Sanders’ book by Charles Chieppo in GOVERNING July 30, 2014.

“Politically, it’s almost irresistible. Revenue from hotel and other taxes, paid largely by people from other places, will be used to subsidize convention centers that lure those visitors to town to spend in hotels, stores and restaurants.

But a new book demonstrates a far less appealing reality…”

“Meeting Facilities Lose Money” 
…there are real-world exceptions to virtually every rule; however, even in the rare cases where revenues (of convention/conference centers) cover operating costs in meeting facilities, they never cover debt service.

“Economic Impact of Convention and Conference Centers” by Stephen Spickard, Economic Research Associates, 1998.