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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidies for Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?

  • Dennis Coates


    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Brad R. Humphreys


    (Department of Economics, University of Alberta)

This paper reviews the empirical literature assessing the effects of subsidies for professional sports franchises and facilities. The evidence reveals a great deal of consistency among economists doing research in this area. That evidence is that sports subsidies cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates. The paper also relates survey evidence showing that economists in general oppose sports subsidies. In addition to reviewing the empirical literature, we describe the economic intuition that probably underlies the strong consensus among economists against sports subsidies.

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Paper provided by International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists in its series Working Papers with number 0818.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0818
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  1. Robert Baade & Victor Matheson, 2004. "The Quest for the Cup: Assessing the Economic Impact of the World Cup," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 343-354.
  2. Robert Baade & Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2005. "Selling the Big Game: Estimating the Economic Impact of Mega-Events through Taxable Sales," Working Papers 0510, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  3. Dennis Coates, 2006. "The Tax Benefits of Hosting the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game: The Houston Experience," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 1(4), pages 239-252, November.
  4. Baade, Robert A & Dye, Richard F, 1988. "An Analysis of the Economic Rationale for Public Subsidization of Sports Stadiums," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 37-47, July.
  5. Michael C. Davis & Christian M. End, 2010. "A Winning Proposition: The Economic Impact Of Successful National Football League Franchises," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 39-50, 01.
  6. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "The Economic Impact of Postseason Play in Professional Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(3), pages 291-299, August.
  7. 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.
  8. John Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2006. "The Economic Impact of Sports Facilities, Teams and Mega-Events," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(4), pages 420-427, December.
  9. Dennis Coates & Craig A. Depken, II, 2006. "Mega-Events: Is the Texas-Baylor game to Waco what the Super Bowl is to Houston?," Working Papers 0606, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  10. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2001. "The Economic Consequences of Professional Sports Strikes and Lockouts," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 737-747, January.
  11. Victor A. Matheson, 2005. "Contrary Evidence on the Economic Effect of the Super Bowl on the Victorious City," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(4), pages 420-428, November.
  12. 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.
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