Date of This Version
Professional sports leagues, franchises, and civic boosters, have used the promise of an all star game or league championship as an incentive for host cities to construct new stadiums or arenas at considerable public expense. Past league-sponsored studies have estimated that Super Bowls, All-Star games and other sports mega-events increase economic activity by hundreds of millions of dollars in host cities. Our analysis fails to support these claims. Our detailed regression analysis of taxable sales in Florida over the period 1980 to 2004 reveals that on, average, mega-events ranging from the World Cup to the World Series have been associated with reductions in taxable sales in host regions of $5 to $10 million per month. Likewise, strikes in Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball League, each of which has resulted in the cancellation of large parts of entire seasons, appear to have also had no demonstrable negative effect on taxable sales in host cities.
Working Paper Number
Baade, Robert; Baumann, Robert; and Matheson, Victor, "Selling the Big Game: Estimating the Economic Impact of Mega-Events through Taxable Sales" (2005). Economics Department Working Papers. Paper 83.