Originally published in CRE Real Estate Issues,Volume 21, Number Three, December 1996

The reality of the degree of positive and negative impacts of stadiums has been the subject lately of a great deal of controversy. Experts have lined up on both sides of the issue. Stadium opponents declare that the facilities, and the teams that play in them, have no immediate nor permanent economic impact. Further, they claim that all of the jobs created are minimum wage positions, and therefore the process is worthless and bogus.

All the while, the Chamber of Commerce, professional teams, the leagues, and the politicians claim that there is a positive impact on the economy and upon the image of a city. If the voters did not want a new stadium, the politicians would be hard to find. Much of the rhetoric has been based upon opinion; not hard data. However, some studies do indicate that the final impacts of new stadiums were far less than those promised. This is especially true of football stadiums that are being utilized by only one sports team.