The Economic Impact And Civic Pride Effects Of Sports Teams And Mega-Events: Do The Public And The Professionals Agree?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter Groothuis Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Often sports leagues, organising committees, and team owners justify the use of public funds to build sports stadiums by the perceived economic impacts and civic pride generated by the teams or mega-events. Since the 1980s many economic studies have examined the economic impact and civic pride created by professional sports teams. Most of the economic literature finds sports teams or mega-events have little or no economic impact, but there are mixed findings on the magnitude of civic pride. Overall, most of the economic literature suggests that the benefits created by sports teams or events do not outweigh the cost of public subsidies provided. We conduct a survey of public opinion on US residents’ perceptions of economic impacts and civic pride benefits from mega-events such as the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. Our study asks the question: Do residents believe that mega-events and sports teams generate positive economic impacts and civic pride or not? We find that, like economists, the public doubts that public funding of mega-events is a good idea.

Additional Information

Groothuis, P. A., and Rotthoff, K. W. (2016). The Economic Impact and Civic Pride Effects of Sports Teams and Mega- Events: Do The Public and the Professionals Agree?. Economic Affairs, 36: 21–32. doi: 10.1111/ecaf.12156. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2016
civic pride, economic impact, sport stadiums, stadium financing

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