Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

Attitudes, Perceptions, and Motivations of Eco-Sustainable NBA Fans

Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

Attitudes, Perceptions, and Motivations of Eco-Sustainable NBA Fans

Article excerpt

Introduction

A growing phenomenon in the tourism industry is the field of sports tourism (Gibson, 2004; Kurtzman & Zauhar, 2005; Hsu, 2013). As the number of teams at both the professional and collegiate levels has grown, many host cities are recognizing substantial economic impacts through sports tourism. Since 1980, nearly 100 new professional sports stadiums and arenas were constructed in the U.S. alone. These facilities were constructed "at a total cost of over $21 billion" (Horrow & Swatek, 2010, 101). Sizeable sports venues, while primarily built to host professional sports teams, serve a dual purpose in that they are often constructed with the secondary intention of attracting tourists to non-athletic events, such as concerts, held within their confines (Gratton et al., 2005).

Societal pressure and attention towards eco-friendly initiatives has prompted professional sports arenas to implement sustainable practices in recent years. Venues such as the American Airlines Arena, Philips Arena, and the Toyota Center have all achieved LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (Brinkmann, 2009; Muret, 2009; Koch, 2010). Another example is Nationals Park, located in Washington, D.C., which garnered LEED status through initiatives to reduce water consumption by over 3 million gallons annually (MLB, 2010). AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants, and the American Airlines Arena, where the Miami Heat play home games, have also earned LEED certification in recent years (Jin, et al., 2015).

Research on such venues is important, as these arenas are a significant economic driver for host cities and can serve as a substantial ancillary revenue stream for these locations (Propheter, 2012). An economic impact study conducted through the Los Angeles Controllers office determined the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers NBA teams, earns over $3.8 million dollars for the city annually (Baade, 2003). An additional economic impact analysis, shepherded by the San Jose Sharks, as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), determined the SAP Center (formerly HP Pavilion) in San Jose, California, home to the NHL's San Jose Sharks, provides the city budget with between $6 and $10 million annually, and approximately $250 million in economic impact coming from both sports games and events (Goddard, 2014; San Jose Office of Economic Development, 2015). Since its inception 20 years ago, the arena has generated billions of dollars in revenue for the municipality through taxes and usage fees, while economic spending at businesses from activities at the venue has averaged slightly above $92 million per year (Marketwire, 2009; San Jose Office of Economic Development, 2009).

The massive influx of spectators at these complexes during sporting activities and events, such as large concerts, creates the propensity of the venue to consume significant amounts of a destination's natural resources. While little data exists regarding resources consumed by domestic arenas, foreign studies provide a glimpse into the environmental liability created by these facilities. Analysis of the 2006 World Cup concluded each match generated between ten and twenty thousand pounds of waste (McCrory, 2006). While this amount may appear negligible on the surface, it is important to note that each World Cup tournament consists of 64 games. Therefore, even utilizing the lesser prediction, it can be calculated that as a whole, the event produces at least 640 tons (1.28 million lbs.) of trash solely from matches. Further highlighting the waste generated from large-scale sports events, FIFA (2014a) estimated waste created from the 2014 World Cup at approximately 1,780 tonnes (approximately 3.9 million pounds), of which 33% was recycled. These statistics influenced this research as the arenas studied maintained an average attendance of 17,806 people for 41 home games in 2015 (ESPN, 2016). Further broken down, in 2015, almost 22 million people attended an NBA game (ESPN, 2016). …

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