Sports are great, but private enterprise is better, so don't stick taxpayers with the bill for stadiums. And here's why: "Few fields of empirical economic research offer virtual unanimity of findings. Yet, independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no statistically significant positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development." A paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives covers the topic, further expanded upon in a current, concrete instantiation by Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing Boing.
These big structures are typically built where the land is cheap, in out-of-the-way locations, ex-industrial zones or bad neighborhoods, and I don't think too many people stop to shop and eat after a game in those kinds of places.
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