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The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team


  • Bruce K. Johnson

    (Centre College)

  • Peter A. Groothuis

    (Westminster College)

  • John C. Whitehead

    (East Carolina University)


This article reports an application of the contingent valuation method to measure the value of public goods generated by a professional sports team, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. The data and analysis indicate that a major league sports team can produce widely consumed public goods such as civic pride and community spirit and that the value of those public goods may be substantial. However, in the case of the Penguins, the value of the public goods is far less than the cost of building a new arena. Although the analysis of public goods generated by other teams in other cities might lead to different results, the results of this article call into question the widespread practice of government funding of sports stadiums and arenas because it appears that the costs borne by taxpayers exceed the benefits received.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2001. "The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 6-21, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:2:y:2001:i:1:p:6-21

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