BUILDING THE CONVENTION CITY: Politics, Finance, and Public Investment in Urban America


*Department of Urban Administration, Trinity University, 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, TX 78212.


ABSTRACT: The development of convention centers has emerged as an increasingly common strategy for urban economic development. The result has been an explosion of public investment in convention and tourist facilities, even in the face of financial problems for many communities. The recent sustained spending on convention facilities is rooted in a restructuring of local fiscal politics with investment decision effectively removed from public review and control. Investment in convention centers and other public projects is now sustained by nonelected coalitions with narrow spending goals.