Public subsidy for sports stadiums and teams can be a highly charged issue. When proposals arose for building a new sports stadium in New Orleans, the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR), a local civic organization, turned to Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) to obtain advise on methods for calculating economic impacts of sports teams and stadium facilities. BGR hired EDR Group and another expert on sports staddiums to review recent studies evaluating economic impacts of the New Orleans Saints and the Superdome stadium.
The review encompassed issues of geographic scale of impact, counting of indirect and induced multiplier effects within the region, leakage of spending dollars out of the region, and consistency with other economic impact studies. The analysis findings were published in a 2005 report, "Funds & Games" issued by BGR with Robert Baade and Economic Development Research Group listed as the project consultants.
The report outlines the public costs associated with building a new stadium, maintaining subsidy payments and how those costs compare to the overall benefits of having a National Football League team. The report found that local studies had overestimated the financial gains derived from sports teams.
Download the full report, Funds and Games, 2005.