It’s that time of year again! In past years, Govistics has brought you public finance data based on a variety of America’s favorite Thanksgiving Day motifs, ranging from the main course to the first voyage of the pilgrims. This year, we pay homage to a time-tested turkey-day staple: football.
Beginning in 1934, the Detroit Lions have hosted a game every year on Thanksgiving and were joined in this tradition by the Dallas Cowboys in 1966. Earlier this year, we profiled Detroit’s descent into bankruptcy. Adding insult to fiscal injury, Detroit has not won a Thanksgiving Day game since 2003 (Dallas last won in 2011).
Though the Cowboys have outplayed the Lions over the last decade, Detroit in 2011 outspent Dallas on a per resident basis by 41%.
Dallas, with about 1.2 million residents, spent around $2,500 per resident in 2011. This compares to the $4,200 spent per resident in Detroit, home to just under 917,000 residents.
While it often tempting to look at municipalities side by side, varying structures and functions can make comparisons tenuous, especially among cities in different states. For example, Detroit provides residents with a rail and bus transit system, while Dallas’ residents have access only to transportation provided by a private company. Keeping in mind inherent differences between municipalities can make data analysis more meaningful.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!