Feb 15, 2019

NFL, Google and Apple expand to new cities as Amazon kills New York HQ2

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon's Valentine's Day decision to break-up with New York before New York broke up with it looks to be the crescendo in a major sea change involving big companies and the municipalities they would like to call home.

Between the lines: As Axios' Erica Pandey reported this week, public outcry against spending taxpayer dollars to subsidize big companies is spreading. Where the trend has been perhaps most pronounced and unexpectedly so recently has been in the NFL.

The Los Angeles Rams' new $5 billion mixed-use stadium facility will be privately funded, and include an entertainment complex as well as a skilled jobs and apprenticeship component where 30% of positions are dedicated to local residents.

  • That's in stark contrast to the Atlanta Falcons, who got roughly $700 million from taxpayers to build Mercedes Benz Stadium, and the Minnesota Vikings, who secured nearly $500 million of public funding for U.S. Bank Stadium in deals signed earlier this decade.
  • Bonds used to finance professional sports stadiums cost U.S. taxpayers more than $3.7 billion between 2000 and 2014, a 2016 study by the Brookings Institution found.

The Oakland Raiders still haven't secured a location to play their home games next year, as politicians in Alameda County, Calif. have refused to let the Raiders play in the Oakland Coliseum after their lease expires.

The Washington football team was rebuffed earlier this week by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan who said he was stopping his pursuit of building a stadium, at least "at this time." Washington's owner, Daniel Snyder, has attempted to secure competing offers from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, much as Amazon did with its HQ2 search.

The bottom line: What may be most notable is the tech companies that have secured deals with cities for new buildings during the time Amazon has been mired in bad publicity for its fight over HQ2, Axios' Ina Fried notes.

Apple set up shop in Austin, pledging to invest $1 billion there.

  • It's also setting up new offices in Seattle, San Diego and the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City and expanding operations in Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colo.
  • Impact: No public search, minor tax breaks.

Google announced last year a major expansion in New York, spending $2.4 billion to acquire Chelsea Market and then, in December, announcing a further $1 billion investment.

  • The company announced it was spending $13 billion this year on data centers and offices throughout the U.S.
  • Impact: Lots of jobs in New York, no tax breaks.

Go deeper: When tax incentives for jobs go wrong

Go deeper

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 43 mins ago - Health

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World