NFL stadiums can bring in good business

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Bryan Grabauskas Washburn Review

Have students been watching sports lately, particularly the NFL? If they have, then they’ve probably heard a great deal about stadiums. There are several teams who have either recently moved to a new stadium or are in the process of doing so. For example, the Rams and Chargers football franchises have both just moved to Los Angeles, California. On the other hand, the Oakland Raiders are also planning to move into a new stadium, but are struggling to get said stadium built anywhere. But why is that, shouldn’t a city want a team to come to town?

There isn’t really a consensus among economists about the effects a stadium has on a city, but if there was one, sports economist says “There is no impact,” according to an article on marketplace.org. The same article goes on to list several reasons as to why having a stadium in town is actually not desirable. Congestion and heavy traffic can ward people away from the neighborhood in which a stadium resides. They are expensive and often are partially paid for by the taxpayers. The city of Los Angeles actually is better off without the Lakers and Clippers, according to a 2003 study of the Staples Center. Also, if a sports team ever tries to leave, a city may try too hard to prevent them from leaving. Missouri offered $400 million to the Rams to stay in St. Louis, which, fortunately for Missouri taxpayers, didn’t happen.

Sports teams can also be very good for the city they play for. Indianapolis, Indiana was a small, midwest city with only a racetrack to its name in the 1970s. Now it is a thriving city with multiple sports teams, including both NFL and NBA teams, and the Indy 500 race. Businesses thrive and the city is a large tourist attraction. Many people visit the city and bring in more revenue. Indianapolis used a strong economic structure and partnership with in-state businesses to use sports teams as an initial attractant, and then expanded its businesses and built up the city with shops, restaurants and monuments, according to an article from City Lab.

A stadium can be good for a city, if the city builds around it properly. Stadiums can also be a hassle. They can attract tourists and increase revenue. But they can also cost too much, drive business away and cause controversy. That is why it is so difficult for sports teams to move. It is a big decision for a city to invest in something that can either help or harm their city so much.