The Economics and Politics of Sports Facilities

The Economics and Politics of Sports Facilities

The Economics and Politics of Sports Facilities

The Economics and Politics of Sports Facilities


Rich and his contributing authors give a far reaching, rigorous analysis of the impact that professional sports stadiums and arenas have on the economies of their host communities. Critical of, yet sympathetic to, the problems of the sports industry, the book emphasizes the cost of sports facilities and makes clear that as engines of economic development, they are of dubious value. Thoroughly researched and scrupulously objective, the book provides among other things the first comparative study of host cities, raises the question of the role of the sports media, and examines the "theater of sports" and its cultural meaning.


Although this is a relatively short book, it discusses many of the major problems confronting professional sports, sports franchise owners and their host cities. The Economics and Politics of Sports Facilities is designed to provide a readable introduction to sports politics in America. This book grew out of a roundtable discussion on sports stadiums I organized for the New England Political Science Association. Although sports is not a major topic among nonurban political scientists, many follow the progress of their local sports teams. Others do not take professional sports seriously. They study political power, leadership, violence, intrigue and conflict among governments. If they read this book, they will discover that professional sports contain all of these elements.

This book is about games that generate millions of dollars and engage the energy and time of leading local politicians. Sports teams have become cultural icons and the game is more than a game. Ergo, stadiums and arenas are more than predictable architecture. in many ways they are part of the cultural definition of a city. Sports is definitely a subject that deserves serious attention by social scientists. Some of the contributors to this volume are among the leading social scientists who watch and study the sports industry.

This book is an appeal to those who would take the game over the edge, stripping away its fantasy content and transforming the game into a bottom-line business enterprise. This book also takes a sober look at what the sports industry is doing to our economically distressed cities.

I would like to thank Professor Stuart Nagel for his invaluable support from the inception of this symposium to its initial publication in . . .

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