Stadium Financing Does not Lead to Strong Local Economic Impact
Dave Zirin has a rant – and one I don’t necessarily agree with for once – that has an interesting nugget that quotes a couple of sports economists on what people (should) already know about stadium funding schemes:
Of course, Merritt makes the case that such a public expenditure would be economic steroids for the community. But that’s not holding water, not even with diehard local fans. As Jules Boykoff, a professor at Pacific University, former pro soccer player, and a big Portland Timbers fanatic who brings his 6-year-old daughter to the games, wrote in The Oregonian:
“More jobs? Economic development? Sounds great! The only problem is that it’s not true. Recently, sports economists Dennis Coates (University of Maryland) and Brad R. Humphreys (University of Alberta) carried out research asking whether cities that built new stadiums to entice professional sports teams experienced a boost in the local economy. In their study–which spanned nearly thirty years and examined almost forty attempts to lure teams–they couldn’t find a single example of a sports franchise jump-starting the local economy.