Taggert Brooks Economics Consulting
Taggert Brooks - Economic Consulting

Economic Impact of Stadiums

Most everyone is aware that donations are being sought for a new stadium at UW-L. The tribune has an opinion piece from the co-chairs of the fundraising campaign.

The new Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex will enhance the region’s already-strong position as a premier destination. The return on tourism dollars alone will far exceed the investment. Conservatively, the estimated impact of the three-day WIAA track meet alone is $3 million. Many who visit the area for events held at the stadium return to enjoy vacations and day trips.

Economists are in agreement that:

On the sports facility side, numerous researchers have examined the relationship between building new facilities and economic growth in metropolitan areas. (Baade and Dye, 1990; Rosentraub, 1994; Baade, 1996; Noll and Zimbalist, 1997; Coates and Humphreys, 1999) In every case, independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no statistically significant positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development (Siegfried and Zimbalist, 2000). This stands in stark contrast to the claims of sports teams and leagues who assert that the large economic benefits of professional franchises merit considerable public expenditures on stadiums and arenas.

And on the issue of the impact of hosting large events:

As in the case of sports facilities, independent work on the economic impact of mega-sporting events has routinely found that the effect of these events on host communities is either insignificant or an order of magnitude below the figures espoused by the sports promoters. In a study of six Super Bowls dating back to 1979, Porter (1999) found no increase in taxable sales in the host community compared to previous years without the game.

Take a look at La Crosse county sales tax revenue, can you find a spike associated with the track meet?

I’d cite the litany of research such as this piece or this one, but the reader can just go to google or google scholar and type the economics of sports stadiums.

Posted: October 22nd, 2007
Categories: Stadium
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