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There's no money in sports stadia, says major contractor

But when you’re talking about a stadium worth close to a billion dollars, the small margins are a big chunk of change.

THE BUILDING OR refurbishing of sport stadia often draws criticism as it is often financed by a lot of taxpayer money.

The economics of stadium building also has a new, unexpected, critic — a construction CEO.

Ronald Tutor, CEO of contractor Tutor Perini, said that a stadium is not as big a financial boon for a construction firm as one would expect.

After an analyst claimed that building sports facilities was a “high margin” business, Tutor said that is not the case.

“No. There is no money in sports,” said Tutor during a conference call this week.

“It’s consistent with rest of our building operation. They track the same level of margin in the 3% to 4% range. So that doesn’t make it high margin by any stretch in our book.”

Tutor knows what he’s talking about. Not only is his company one of the largest construction companies in the US, but it has worked on a wide variety of sports complexes from the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field to the Chicago White Sox’s US Cellular Field.

This follows a lot of negative outcry over tax subsidies and public funding for stadia, as studies have shown that the promises of economic spillover from constructing new stadiums are, at best, inconsistent. This has led to a pile on against public money for stadiums from politicians, sports commentators and TV personalities.

Autumn weather Oct 15th 2015 Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Tutor’s remarks stemmed from his company’s desire to be involved with a possible stadium to house one (or two) of three NFL teams attempting to relocate to Los Angeles.

He also had some insights on the timetable, and cost, for the NFL to award the LA site to the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers or the St. Louis Rams.

Russia 2018 World Cup Source: AP/Press Association Images

“The only sport facility we’re looking at is the NFL stadium at Los Angeles,” said Tutor.

“We will talk to both of the participating teams, whichever one wins. We will hope to talk to then to be a builder for their stadium. Both have preliminary drawings. They are both $900 to $1 billion jobs (€837 to €931 million) . My assumption is, as I believe everyone’s is, by end of the year January, the NFL will anoint one.”

No money? 3% of a billion dollars ain’t nothin’, it’s $30 million!

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Business Insider
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