The Myth and Reality of the Economic Development from Sports

  • April 21, 1997
  • • Written by: Mark S. Rosentraub 

April 1997, Vol 22, No 1
Abstract: Hardly a week seems to pass without a community announcing plans for a substantial investment in a stadium or arena to attract or retain a professional sports team. Yet, with teams leaving their fans to get publicly built facilities, it seems fair to ask if the public sector should invest tax dollars in these facilities? Are publicly financed facilities bribes extracted by the professional sports leagues or shrewd investments? The cities and states that have made tax money available to build arenas and ballparks are doing nothing more than subsidizing a very wealthy group of people. The tax dollars committed do nothing more than increase the pot of money to be fought over by athletes and team owners.