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Public Funding of Professional Sports Stadiums: Public Choice or Civic Pride?

  • Peter A. Groothuis

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Appalachian State University)

  • Bruce K. Johnson

    (Centre College)

  • John C. Whitehead

    (Appalachian State University)

Many state and local governments have subsidized the construction of arenas and stadiums for the use of professional sports teams. They often justify the subsidies with claims that the stadiums generate positive externalities, including public goods. Some research using Contingent Valuation Method surveys has shown that such public goods may be valuable, but no published research has yet found a case in which the value of the public goods alone could justify public construction of a new stadium or arena. This suggests that the public choice argument for public subsidy of sports may play a role. This paper uses a bivariate probit model to extend the analysis of data from a previous study to show that, while public goods may contribute to a community's willingness to subsidize sports, public choice factors also play a role. The analysis clarifies the genesis of civic pride and its relationship to sports and other cultural amenities in a city.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume30/V30N4P515_526.pdf
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Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 515-526

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:515-526
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  1. BK. Johnson & JC. Whitehead, 2000. "Value of public goods from sports stadiums: the CVM approach," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 48-58, 01.
  2. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 1999. "The growth effects of sport franchises, stadia, and arenas," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 601-624.
  3. John J. Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2000. "The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 95-114, Summer.
  4. Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2000. "“The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team: The CVM Approach,”," Working Papers 0014, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2001. "The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team: The CVM Approach," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 6-21, February.
  6. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
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