Thanks to reader Thurston for sending me a great link, an interview of an expert on the economics of professional sports, Roger Noll. Note that this is a pro-free-market podcast, EconTalk, at the Library of Economics and Liberty, so these aren't people that have anything against money or sports. Early in the interview Noll says this:
Baseball and football stadiums...there aren't any that have been substantially subsidized where the local community has received anything remotely resembling a reasonable return on investment. They are financial black holes. Especially football stadiums...What you've created is something that essentially sucks the blood out of a neighborhood...indeed, they create slums.
Wow. This isn't some opinion jockey. This is a Stanford economics professor who has spent his career studying these questions. [Later edit: I wasn't even looking for it, but the day after posting this ran across another article, "Stadiums Are A Bad Investment".]
The whole interview is worth listening to. Hope to see you Wednesday night, although this event will fill up so go to the Debate website and register.