The Controversy Over Sports Stadiums Continues

It appears that everyone is talking about the impact that sports stadiums have on urban economic development. As soon as one person says they're a terrible idea, another article will retort the benefits brought to a given city.

1 minute read

August 23, 2011, 1:00 PM PDT

By Tim Halbur


In this article by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, the author looks at both sides of the argument. Sure, public subsides are often required to finance these urban stadiums. Tax breaks, free land, government-subsidized tax-free loans and discounts are routinely offered by cities in order to attract a sports team to build a stadium in their hometown. NYC was able to attract the Nets by offering $511 million in tax exempt bonds. The initial plans included office towers and affordable housing to be built alongside the stadium, but these have since been scrapped due to the economy.

But even without the office towers and condo complexes, is the stadium a worthwhile investment for NYC?

Boston Mayor Tom Menino announced in June that fans had spent $300 million in Boston as a direct result of hometown sporting events the past year. A pennant race and Stanley Cup championship certainly didn't hurt the city's efforts.

The article seeks feedback on the importance of stadiums to urban economic development--and whether these public subsidies are worthwhile. Can stadiums really create "shared value"? If so, how?

Thanks to Amanda Maher

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 in Initiative for a Competitive Inner City

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