SUPPORTING THE HOME TEAM... IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PUBLIC FINANCING OF PHILADELPHIA'S NEW SPORTS STADIA

Author: 

Peter Asselin

Cities take great pride in their professional sports franchises. On any given day, the office water cooler is likely to be surrounded by fans reveling in the home team’s latest victory or lamenting its last defeat. Living in a major league city often produces an increased sense of community and civic pride amongst its citizens. As cities have begun to recognize the popularity and importance of sports to its citizens, the view of what constitutes projects for a “public purpose” worthy of public funding has expanded. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, local governments spent approximately $850 million to construct new sports facilities and renovate existing ones. The sports stadium construction boom has multiplied recently as the total cost of twenty-nine sports facilities opened between 1999 and 2003 is expected to be close to $9 billion. Of this $9 billion, taxpayers financed approximately $5.7 billion, or 64 percent. View More