The Economic Consequences of Professional Sports Strikes and Lockouts
The National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout of 1998–1999 resulted in the cancellation of a significant number of games. According to the claims made by proponents of sports-driven economic growth, cities with NBA franchises should experience significant negative economic losses from this work stoppage because of the lost spending in and around basketball arenas during this event. Although it will be several years before adequate data exist for a careful ex post evaluation of the effects of the lockout, an examination of the impact of past work stoppages in professional football and basketball can shed some light on the potential impact of the NBA lockout as well as the viability of professional sports as engines of economic growth in cities. The parameter estimates from a reduced-form empirical model of the determination of real per capita income in 37 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) over the period 1969–1996 suggest that prior work stoppages in professional football and baseball had no impact on the economies of cities with franchises. Further, the departure of professional basketball from cities had no impact on their economies in the following years. These results refute the idea that attracting professional sports franchises represents a viable economic development strategy.
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Volume (Year): 67 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
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