Years ago I asked some sports marketing types to quantify the PR value of the Greensboro Coliseum -- all those logo shots and mentions of the city during nationally-televised ballgames -- and they came up with a very large number.
This placated the Coliseum haters not one bit, of course.
Nor does the fact that the City operates other amenities (e.g., parks) without any hope of a cash return, because the value to the community comes in other forms.
The hard number I've been searching for is tax revenue generated by the Coliseum.
Today, Don Patterson reports that this year's NCAA tourney alone will bring in about $300,000 in local taxes. Now, you can chip away at that sum in a few ways, but the upshot is that over the course of a year, the Coliseum is adding a substantial amount of revenue to City coffers.
Enough to completely offset annual operating losses, or to make a serious dent in them? That's a question I'd still like to see answered.