KUHF’S JACK WILLIAMS runs an interesting perspective on the economic impact of sports stadiums:
Andrew Zimbalist, a noted sports economist, says you can’t just plop a stadium downtown and expect the area around it to flourish.
“A sports facility by itself cannot be expected to boost the area economy and when we say area economy we’re talking about the amount of output in the area and the number of jobs in an area. The evidence simply does not suggest that one could reliably depend upon any type economic boost whatsoever.”
Zimbalist says downtown projects that have been successful in other cities have usually included a commitment by the city, county or team to invest in the surrounding area.
The skeptical perspective is a nice addition to the debate, although we hope the powers-that-be don’t take that last as a reason to invest even MORE in the soccer boondoggle.