Policy Documents

No. 62 Stadiums, Professional Sports, and Economic Development: Assessing The Reality

Robert A. Baade –
April 4, 1994

About one century ago, professional sports became prominent in American public life. During its early yeras, the business of sports was primarily a private undertaking, financed with private money and played in private stadiums and arenas.

But state and local government subsidies to professional sports business have proliferated over the past few decades, and economic arguments have been crafted to justify the subdisies. These arguments typically rest on the assertion that professional sports is a significant, even unique, catalyst for economic growth. By this reckoning, stadiums and teams are "cash cows" that expand the economy and enable further public investments in other critical areas.


Please note The Heartland Institute’s phone number and address have changed since this document was created. The correct contact information is The Heartland Institute, 19 South LaSalle Street #903, Chicago, IL 60603; phone 312/377-4000; fax 312/377-5000; email think@heartland.org.