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February 02, 2006

Sports and spending

Amid the excitement surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl, N.C. State University’s Mike Walden answers the question, “Do cities with professional sports franchises benefit economically by having more spending and higher wages?”

“Not if you believe a new study that took a very comprehensive look at this and actually found to the contrary,” says Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics and specialist with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

“They found a neutral or negative impact of pro sports teams. They did find that a presence of a pro sports team ... increase[d] earning and spending in areas of ... say ... the amusement variety and recreation sectors.

“But those increases seem to be offset by declines in earnings and spending in other sectors,” he adds. “And this makes sense in that if you have a pro sports team [and] people are spending money on it, they are not going to be spending money elsewhere.

“So in terms of the net effect on a region, it seems to be nil,” he concludes. “But clearly for sports fans, they enjoy having that team.”

Posted by deeshore at February 2, 2006 08:00 AM