Economist Allen Sanderson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He often questions large scale government subsidies for sports venues like Soldier Field for the Bears and U.S. Cellular Field for the White Sox. In the case of the NATO summit, Sanderson told CBS Chicago there’s a lot of downside for the city’s reputation and little upside in the way of economic development.
“It’s just a potential disaster,” Sanderson said. “Again, I hope it’s not. I hope things go really well and the city gets a real positive spin from it, but if you were betting in Las Vegas, you’d bet that’s not going to be the outcome.”
Sanderson says the delegates won’t be doing much for the Chicago economy other than hotels and restaurants for the days they’re here. And he says violent demonstrations and police reactions could easily outweigh the benefits.