Dennis Coates, Economics, in the Tampa Bay Times

“How much do the Tampa Bay Rays boost their local economy?” asks the Tampa Bay Times. In arguments for building a new stadium, St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster estimates the team’s local economic impact at $100 million a year, but experts, including UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates, question the assumption that stadiums have a notable economic benefit to their home cities.

Coates explains that when a couple spends $100 for dinner and a movie, much of that money goes to waiters, ticket takers and other local workers and suppliers, who in turn spend their paychecks on rent and food, creating a positive ripple effect in the local economy. In contrast, argues Coates, “Spending that goes on inside a stadium tends to flow into the pockets of a relatively few, high-income individuals who live a large portion of the year outside the city,” so much of the money spent inside stadiums actually flows out of the cities where they are located.