- Harvard Kennedy School on Press, Politics, and Policy - How to Curb Sports Teams’ Demands for Free Public Stadiums
- NewBallpark.org: Money putting fans further away from game
- And finally, Pacific Standard - America has a Stadium Problem:
Economists have long known stadiums to be poor public investments. Most of the jobs created by stadium-building projects are either temporary, low-paying, or out-of-state contracting jobs—none of which contribute greatly to the local economy. (Athletes can easily circumvent most taxes in the state in which they play.)
Economists have also been, according to Long, drastically underestimating the true cost of these projects. They fail to consider public subsidies for land and infrastructure, the ongoing costs of operations, capital improvements (we need a new scoreboard!), municipal services (all those traffic cops), and foregone property taxes (almost every major-league franchise located in the U.S. does not pay property taxes “due to a legal loophole with questionable rationale” as the normally value-neutral Long put it). Due to these oversights, Long calculates that economists have been underestimating public subsidies for sports facilities by 25 percent, raising the figure to $259 million per facility in operation during the 2010 season.
All the while, American cities, counties, and states continue to struggle. Glendale, Arizona, may actually sell City Hall so they can afford to keep subsidizing a hockey team that few people actually pay to see.