Northwest & Daily Heralds Report on MCC Baseball Stadium Feasibility Study, But Not It Critique by Economic Research Associates

You would think the Northwest Herald would have been hounding McHenry County College for last fall’s $70,000 feasibility study on the baseball stadium as much as McHenry County Blog has.

It would seem to be a First Amendment issue to me.

Even so, I am grateful for Regan Foster’s article.

And I am grateful for Kerry Lester’s Daily Herald article.

Look what Lester got feasibility study author Mark Houser to say:

”While this project meets collegiate needs, if it were analyzed purely from the perspective of private sector investors, it would have limited investment appeal” (emphasis added).


“If the project were treated as a self-sustaining business venture, Houser said, it has ‘excellent potential of succeeding.’”

That’s the best he can do.

I am disappointed that there was nothing in either newspaper about the devastating analysis of that feasibility study by Economic Research Associates, paid for by MCC and available to board members seven months ago, in April, which McHenry County Blog ran yesterday.

The ERA analysis does not jive with Houser’s optimism about his buddy baseball promoter Pete Heitman’ numbers.

In case you missed some of its salient conclusions, here are a couple:

“1. Our experience is that these facilities and programs usually have a difficult time generating positive cash flow and as a result are often public projects. Your upscale suburban market is probably the most feasible location to have a profitable program.” (emphasis added)

“3. Again, most of ERA’s baseball market analysis / feasibility assignments have been for public clients since the programs generally do not generate enough revenues to cover their development and operating costs. The public sector gets involved using their borrowing power and justifies the project costs because of its economic and community benefits (i.e., quality of life, increased property values, new visitors to the area, community image, etc.)” (emphasis added)

“4. Our assessment reveals several areas where more clarification would be helpful including the need for budgeting the eventual facilities improvements and upgrades, further clarification on non-team activity and the indicated commitment from the League.” (emphasis added)

There is more, but you can read it, plus my comments in the original article yesterday.

I do wonder if the Northwest or the Daily Herald will publish this critique in another article or just ignore it.

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