The Economic Impact of Sports Stadiums: Recasting the Analysis in Context

Authors

  • Charles Santo

    Corresponding author
    1. Portland State University
      * Charles Santo, School of Urban Studies & Planning, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751-USP, Portland, OR 97207-0751. E-mail: santoca@pdx.edu
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* Charles Santo, School of Urban Studies & Planning, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751-USP, Portland, OR 97207-0751. E-mail: santoca@pdx.edu

Abstract

Abstract: Independent empirical analyses are often used to refute assertions that sports stadiums can serve as economic catalysts. Criticisms of recent stadium investments, however, are commonly based on studies conducted with data that it out of date. Current generation stadiums typically exhibit a different character and purpose than the multi-use, utilitarian facilities built in the 1960s and 1970s. This study tests the importance of the new context within which stadiums are built by recasting a landmark study with current data. Nineteen metropolitan areas are included in a cross-section time-series analysis, representing every city that gained or lost an NFL or MLB team, or experienced a stadium construction for such a team between 1984 and 2001. These sports-related variables are found to be positively correlated with regional income share for eight of the nineteen metropolitan areas. A closer look at the findings suggests that context matters.

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