Oak View Group, the Los Angeles-based company hoping to build a $250 million arena in the Coachella Valley with private financing, is touting an economic impact of hundreds of millions initially. But at least one local mayor is skeptical, saying sports arena projects are notorious for "over-promising" and "under-delivering." 

The proposed arena that could break ground near Palm Desert this spring is expected to host as many as 180 events per year. That kind of activity has the potential for an annual attendance of more than 1 million, and some believe it could have a significant economic impact in the valley...

...Of course, not all of the revenue the arena will generate will come from visitors from outside the Coachella Valley. Josh Cohen, a CAA ICON vice president, estimates at least $21 million in annual new spending will enter the valley from visitors who come solely to the arena. That does not include ticket revenue. They’ll come, Cohen said, and likely book a hotel, eat at a restaurant and visit bars and retail establishments.

“There’s plenty of reason to come to the Coachella Valley,” Cohen said, “but they may come specifically for a concert or for a trading event or tournament. They’re going to come to the market and spend money.”

Dan Barrett, another CAA ICON vice president, added that the facility offers an improved quality of life in the community, and events that the valley does not currently have year-round.

“Residents can rest assured that this is a pretty good deal from their perspective,” Barrett said.

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