First, building the facility creates construction jobs. Second, people who attend games or work for the team generate new spending in the community, expanding local employment. Third, a team attracts tourists and companies to the host city, further increasing local spending and jobs. Unfortunately, these arguments contain bad economic reasoning that leads to overstatement of the benefits of stadiums.
Increased productivity can arise in two ways: from economically beneficial specialization by the community for the purpose of trading with other regions or from local value added that is higher than other uses of local workers, land, and investments. Building a stadium is good for the local economy only if a stadium is the most productive way to make capital investments and use its workers. In our forthcoming Brookings book, Sports, Jobs, and Taxes, we and 15 collaborators examine the local economic development argument from all angles: case studies of the effect of specific facilities, as well as comparisons among cities and even neighborhoods that have and have not sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into sports development.
In every case, the conclusions are the same. A new sports facility has an extremely small perhaps even negative effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues.
Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus. Eberly and James H. As noted, a stadium can spur economic growth if sports is a significant export industry—that is, if it attracts outsiders to buy the local product and if it results in the sale of certain rights broadcasting, product licensing to national firms.
But, in reality, sports has little effect on regional net exports. Sports facilities attract neither tourists nor new industry. Probably the most successful export facility is Oriole Park, where about a third of the crowd at every game comes from outside the Baltimore area. Sports teams do collect substantial revenues from national licensing and broadcasting, but these must be balanced against funds leaving the area. Most professional athletes do not live where they play, so their income is not spent locally.
Moreover, players make inflated salaries for only a few years, so they have high savings, which they invest in national firms. Finally, though a new stadium increases attendance, ticket revenues are shared in both baseball and football, so that part of the revenue gain goes to other cities.
On balance, these factors are largely offsetting, leaving little or no net local export gain to a community. Such promotional studies overstate the economic impact of a facility because they confuse gross and net economic effects. Most spending inside a stadium is a substitute for other local recreational spending, such as movies and restaurants. Similarly, most tax collections inside a stadium are substitutes: as other entertainment businesses decline, tax collections from them fall.
Promotional studies also fail to take into account differences between sports and other industries in income distribution. Most sports revenue goes to a relatively few players, managers, coaches, and executives who earn extremely high salaries—all well above the earnings of people who work in the industries that are substitutes for sports.
Most stadium employees work part time at very low wages and earn a small fraction of team revenues. Thus, substituting spending on sports for other recreational spending concentrates income, reduces the total number of jobs, and replaces full-time jobs with low-wage, part-time jobs. A second rationale for subsidized stadiums is that stadiums generate more local consumer satisfaction than alternative investments.
There is some truth to this argument. Professional sports teams are very small businesses, comparable to large department or grocery stores. They capture public attention far out of proportion to their economic significance. Broadcast and print media give so much attention to sports because so many people are fans, even if they do not actually attend games or buy sports-related products.
The magnitude of this benefit is unknown, and is not shared by everyone; nevertheless, it exists. As a result, sports fans are likely to accept higher taxes or reduced public services to attract or keep a team, even if they do not attend games themselves. These fans, supplemented and mobilized by teams, local media, and local interests that benefit directly from a stadium, constitute the base of political support for subsidized sports facilities.
While sports subsidies might ow from externalities, their primary cause is the monopolistic structure of sports. To attract teams, cities must compete through a bidding war, whereby each bids its willingness to pay to have a team, not the amount necessary to make a team viable. Teams are not required to take advantage of this opportunity, and in two cases—the Charlotte Panthers and, to a lesser extent, the San Francisco Giants—the financial exposure of the city has been the relatively modest costs of site acquisition and infrastructural investments.
The tendency of sports teams to seek new homes has been intensified by new stadium technology. The rather ordinary cookie-cutter, multipurpose facility of the s and s has given way to the elaborate, single-sport facility that features numerous new revenue opportunities: luxury suites, club boxes, elaborate concessions, catering, signage, advertising, theme activities, and even bars, restaurants, and apartments with a view of the field. Because new stadiums produce substantially more revenues, more cities are now economically viable franchise sites—which explains why Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Nashville have become NFL cities.
As more localities bid for teams, cities are forced to offer ever larger subsidies. Abuses from exorbitant stadium packages, sweetheart leases, and footloose franchises have left many citizens and politicians crying foul. What remedy, if any, is available to curb escalating subsidies and to protect the emotional and financial investments of fans and cities?
In practice, this strategy is unlikely to work. Efforts by cities to form a sports-host association have failed. The temptation to cheat by secretly negotiating with a mobile team is too strong to preserve concerted behavior. Another strategy is to insert provisions in a facility lease that deter team relocation. Many cities have tried this approach, but most leases have escape clauses that allow the team to move if attendance falls too low or if the facility is not in state-of-the-art condition.
Other teams have provisions requiring them to pay tens of millions of dollars if they vacate a facility prior to lease expiration, but these provisions also come with qualifying covenants. Of course, all clubs legally must carry out the terms of their lease, but with or without these safeguard provisions, teams generally have not viewed their lease terms as binding. Rather, teams claim that breach of contract by the city or stadium authority releases them from their obligations.
Almost always these provisions do not prevent a team from moving. Some leases grant the city a right of first refusal to buy the team or to designate who will buy it before the team is relocated. The big problem here is the price. Owners usually want to move a team because it is worth more elsewhere, either because another city is building a new facility with strong revenue potential or because another city is a better sports market.
If the price is the value of the franchise in its present home, the old owner is deprived of his property rights if he cannot sell to the highest bidder. In practice, these provisions typically specify a right of first refusal at market price, which does not protect against losing a team. Cities trying to hold on to a franchise can also invoke eminent domain, as did Oakland when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles in and Baltimore when the Colts moved to Indianapolis in In the Oakland case, the California Court of Appeals ruled that condemning a football franchise violates the commerce clause of the U.
District Court ruled that Maryland lacked jurisdiction because the team had left the state by the time the condemnation was declared. Eminent domain, even if constitutionally feasible, is not a promising vehicle for cities to retain sports teams. Whatever the costs and benefits to a city of attracting a professional sports team, there is no rationale whatsoever for the federal government to subsidize the financial tug-of-war among the cities to host teams.
In , Congress apparently became convinced of the irrationality of granting tax exemptions for interest on municipal bonds that financed projects primarily benefiting private interests. The Tax Reform Act denies federal subsidies for sports facilities if more than 10 percent of the debt service is covered by revenues from the stadium. If Congress intended that this would reduce sports subsidies, it was sadly mistaken.
If anything, the law increased local subsidies by cutting rents below 10 percent of debt service. But then Stadium Good decided to team up with Bape on a pair of sneakers—the AF1-indebted Bape Sta and its cousin, the Dunk-adjacent Sk8 Sta—and forced me to reevaluate my whole position.
The two new sneakers are done up in shades of gray and slate-y blues laid over panels of suede and mesh. Even with the big star sorry, "sta" logo sweeping down the side, they feel a little more relaxed and refined than the primary-colors-and-patent-leather versions from the old days.
I mean, they're still Bape, so they still embody a certain streetwear sensibility cultivated over the last 21 years. But they also feel like they could be a gateway drug, leading hypebeasts into retirement mode or pulling normier sneaker fans towards something a little bolder than their norm. Are these the only Bape sneakers that could achieve that particular feat? Not at all. The reinvigorated lineup announced earlier this year is fuller than I would have expected of toned-down, goes-with-everything colorways.
But it just so happened that this collab with one of the juggernauts of the secondhand sneaker game was the one that caught my eye and thawed my cynical heart. It might just do the same for you. And if it does—or if you're just an avowed Bape fan who thinks I'm boring as fuck fair —you'll be pleased to know that even though the Stadium Goods Bape Sta in "Lexington Grey" has sold out, the Sk8 Sta, in "Claremont Blue," drops today on Stadium Goods' website.
And if you're anything like me, it's liable to make a fan of you yet. United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Ted Cruz Defaced the Constitution. The Girl From Plainville.
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Shop The Latest Sneakers, Apparel & Accessories. Fast Shipping. % Authentic. Stadium Goods is the world's premier sneaker and streetwear marketplace. We sell the most sought after footwear, apparel, and accessories from Nike. Stadium Goods is a retailer specialised in the resale of aftermarket sneakers. Based in New York City, it operates shops in SoHo, Manhattan and Chicago, IL, as well as an online store. The store sells sneakers and streetwear, including rare and.