30somethingsuburbanguy

Interestingly, ESPN continues to expand, satellite after satellite, in Bristol, a small, former industrial city, but has caused no tangible positive economic effect on the city itself besides the property taxes Bristol collects.

ESPN has lured no good restaurants in Bristol.

ESPN has spurred no quality houses or condos in Bristol.

There are no shops or shopping districts that have broken ground because of ESPN's existence.

ESPN's presence in Bristol is largely invisible.

It's a shame.

Folks at Disney, which owns ESPN, should do something to improve the quality of life in Bristol. Until it does, workers will continue to pass through the iron gates, go to work, and not spend a dime in the city where they work.

Clyde McPhat

Wow.....I know there aren't a lot of us who will sit through that, but I can tell you have absolutely NO understanding of the cable, televsion or sports business.

Boomers are at least aged 50 now. To charecterize ESPN as an older skewing cable network just doesn't jive with the actual ratings.

And you think it should provide tours? Of what? Hannah Storm's closet? Have you seen Bristol and ESPN? Gertrude Stein may have been talking about CT instead of Oakland.

MRB

30somethingsuburbanguy,
I don't understand what you'd like ESPN to do. The free market should recognize the dearth of money-spending venues (money that's pouring in from advertisers nationwide and for the most part not from the local community) in Bristol and step in to provide the opportunities that you say are lacking. Do you want ESPN to build dorms for their employees? Build their restaurants, bars, movie theaters, etc?

30somethingsuburbanguy

MRB:

I think mega-empire ESPN should consider where they are and do something do improve the community of which they are a part.

Perhaps this means subsidizing some retail development. Perhaps this means building an ESPNZone or similar sports-themed restaurant, a destination cable sports museum, like a Hall of Fame of sorts. They ought to get something started and then the free market of which you speak will follow suit.

Neighbor

I drive by ESPN on the way to work in Bristol every day. Bristol's biggest problem is lack of highway access. If ESPN tried to draw any significant number of people into the city, they would quickly run up against giant traffic jams and make the residents really, really frustrated.

For the record, it's taken 20+ years to get a boulevard extension of 72 built into Bristol, that's not even a highway.

Stephen

I'm from Southington, the town over from Bristol.

Neighbor is right. 84 is the main highway in that area and Bristol doesn't have a convienent exit.

Plus, Bristol is gross and the towns around it are nicer. People are more likely to live in surrounding towns because Bristol's real estate doesn't have the same value or appreciation. Oh, did I mention the town is grimy.

I've been on tours of ESPN and know a couple of people that work there. If I remember correctly they were building or built a bunch housing for employees. I could be wrong.

Doug

ESPN contributes quite substantially to Bristol's economy. Property taxes alone account for $263 million.:
http://www.bristolpress.com/articles/2010/02/10/news/doc4b6ce0ad69417931310967.txt

It may not be obvious, since ESPN has grown fairly gradually over a 30+ year period. If they had simply dropped into Bristol yesterday, you can be sure you'd see a ton of immediate new projects to support it, but the housing and retail impact has grown organically with the company.

ESPN may not have built, say, special housing facilities, but go to any apartment building manager in the area and ask how many ESPN employees live there. One largish complex I lived in for a time said it was about 20% of their tenants.

The real question is - where would Bristol be if ESPN moved tomorrow? I think if that happened, their economic impact would become very obvious.

30somethingbristolgirl

Other than the lack of quality restaurants and the ridiculous, ridiculous regional so-called "planning" that led to the city not having highway access (and the "organic" growth of housing and retail happening in OTHER towns), it's not that bad, people.