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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Super Bowl Showdown: Which Team's City Is Worse Off?

Our Post colleague Jon DeNunzio has asked Post bloggers to weigh in with our predictions for Sunday's Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, pitting the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers against the NFC champion (How did that happen?) Arizona Cardinals.

The Ticker is not in the business of prognostication, but we will drop a little knowledge on you and give you some economic facts about each team's city. You can use them to decide which team you think deserves to win or as a factor to toss into your wagering matrix. Don't say we never did nothin' for you.

Also, because the NFL is inferior in every measurable way to real football -- Div. I college football -- The Ticker doesn't really follow the League and is unqualified to comment on either team, other than to note that we believe the Steelers have won 26 of the previous Super Bowls and the Cardinals have not appeared in post-season play since the flying wedge was legal.

Now, on to the respective cities.

Here's what Phoenix has going for it:

- According to the most recent S&P/Case Shiller Index, released on Tuesday, home values in Phoenix have plunged 32.9 percent between November 2007 and November 2008, the steepest drop of any of the 20 major cities surveyed.

- Foreclosures in the Phoenix and Tuscon areas jumped 158 percent in 2008, compared to 2007, according to Default Research.

Meanwhile, in the five-county Pittsburgh area:

- Foreclosures jumped a comparably mere 148 percent in Pittsburgh over 2008, according to RealtyTrac. However, the median home sale price rose from $117,000 in 2007 to $118,00 in 2008, according to Pittsburgh-based RealSTATS.

Pittsburgh, an older Rust Belt City, is much less prone to the boom-and-bust housing cycles of newer Sun Belt cities, such as Phoenix.

Which is one reason why:

- Pennsylvania is 40th in the nation in income and jobs growth.

Unemployment between the states is a push -- 6.7 percent in Pennsylvania, 6.9 percent in Arizona.

Finally, The Ticker is not even going to mention any of the predictable and utterly bogus projections for how much revenue the Super Bowl will bring to Tampa or, peripherally, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

Anytime you see a "study" that predicts such-and-such event will bring a certain figure of revenue to a city, give those numbers as much credibility as we now give the investment returns promised by Bernie Madoff.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 28, 2009; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Super Bowl, foreclosure, home prices  
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