The Business of Sports

By Smith, Halbert C | Real Estate Issues, December 1996 | Go to article overview

The Business of Sports


Smith, Halbert C, Real Estate Issues


As we all know, professional sports are BIG business. So are some amateur sports, particularly college football and basketball. However, this Special Edition of Real Estate Issues is devoted to the impact of professional sports on a city's economic and social life, especially as it relates to the construction of new stadiums and sports arenas. The decision to construct or not to construct a new sports facility can involve the expenditure of huge amounts of capital, often our tax dollars. Many CREs (Counselors of Real Estate) have worked with cities and private entities to analyze the economic, financial and social aspects of professional sports and the new facilities which often are required to retain or attract bigleague teams.

Articles in this edition address the many questions that arise when major sports franchises want to expand or move or when cities want to attract or retain them. How large or small is the economic impact of an NFL football team or a major league baseball team? What are the marginal impacts of a new facility? Will the economic benefits outweigh the costs? What is the social impact both in terms of a community's vitality and the programs that may have to be foregone or abandoned in order to help fund the new facility? And what effect will a major sports team have on the city's ability to attract new components to its economic base and ultimately to improve the economic and social climate for its citizens? …

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