Facility Finance: Measurement, Trends, and Analysis

Andrew Zimbalist
Judith Grant Long

 Conventional wisdom has it that the public share of stadium and arena construction costs has been falling in recent years. Many have attributed this perceived decrease in part to the emergence of the academic literature in the 1990s, finding that one cannot expect that a new team or sport facility by itself would promote economic development in an area. We find that the conventional wisdom is incorrect. In this paper, we use both the available reported cost data as well as adjusted cost data and find that trends in public financing are considerably more complex than traditionally thought. We proceed first by discussing issues in the measurement of costs, then by elaborating the methodology we employ for our estimates, next by expositing our results, and lastly by offering an interpretation for our findings.