Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stadiums Economic Impact on Their City

    One of the most important things to any sports team, is their stadium.  I read an article that talked about the economic impact that stadiums have on their city.  When a sports team decides that they want to build a new stadium or update their old one, they tell all the people within the city that it would be great economically for the city because it will bring about jobs and it will attract more people that can spend their money there.  In reality, this is far from the truth.  A sports economist named Michael Leeds took a look at Chicago because they have 5 major sports teams and he says, "If every sports team in Chicago were to suddenly disappear, the impact on the Chicago economy would be a fraction of 1 percent... A baseball team has about the same impact on a community as a midsize department store."

If anything it seems that stadiums could actually be doing more damage than good to its surrounding city.  When most teams have home games the fans going to stadium tend to cause a lot of traffic, which causes many locals to avoid any shops or restaurants around the area.  This makes many businesses suffer.  Plus, the article talks about how many people going to sporting events have a "limited entertainment budget", so if the stadium was not there then the locals could be spending that money at a local restaurant and keeping the money within the community.  Instead, all that money is going right into the pockets of the local sports team.
Sales tax in Inglewood actually improved when the Lakers moved to the Staples Center, but that hasn't stopped the city from pursuing an NFL stadium project. - Bruce ...



  1. This is interesting, because I would have expected the reverse to be true (that it would be beneficial to the city/state somehow). It is interesting that stadiums have so little impact. I am sure that actually paying for the stadium is expensive too. But yes, I do recall quite a few times where there had been a large sports game going on and traffic would be nuts! It kind of forced you to just get to your destination as fast as possible because you wouldn't want to wait in traffic to get to some place you don't NEED to go. Also, it's a bit disturbing to me that in the article, the governor of Missouri was willing to pay 400 million to get a team to stay? That's an outrageous amount.

  2. Reading this I was quite surprised, the thought I had before reading this was the opposite. You'd think large professional sports teams attracting large crowds would help the local economy. But face value is often not accurate and the only way to truly see where the money is going would be to track it and see who is getting the big checks, because its clearly not the towns. So if the towns are not highly benefiting from the fields, why do towns push to have these stadiums? Could it possibly be because of pride? Pride in having "their" team in their town, even though their economy does not benefit. Very interesting to think about.

  3. I'm struck by Emily's pride question -- stadiums seem like an expensive addition where taxpayers support multi-million dollar incomes for mainly men (plus entertainment). I'm trying to think of another example like this one...