The Impact of Sports Stadiums on the Community’s Unemployment

The Impact of Sports Stadiums on the Community’s Unemployment

Unemployment is one of the major problems plaguing many cities today. Studies have

suggested that the problem of unemployment can be reduced through the construction of sports

facilities in communities. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the effects of sports stadiums

to the host community. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how the construction of sports

stadiums affects unemployment in communities. This paper reviews literature supporting and

opposing the argument that sports stadiums reduce unemployment rates in communities. Most of

the literature on the topic disagrees that economic benefits such as job creation are achieved

through the construction of sports stadiums. The literature uses diverse methodologies to draw

conclusions and some of them are flawed. Moreover, most of the evidence is not based on

current data. This review is aimed at enlightening city leaders and residents on the benefits and

shortcomings of sports stadiums so that they can make informed investment decisions. This

paper will first analyze the literature opposing the economic benefits of sports stadiums and

proceed to studies that support this argument.

Impact of Sports Stadiums on Unemployment

The decision to build sports facilities is usually justified by several reasons such as the

creation of employment opportunities in the neighborhood. Some people feel that such facilities

bring many economic benefits to the community such as reduction of unemployment levels

while others argue that such projects are not beneficial. Initiators of stadium construction

projects argue that downtown areas in cities can be revitalized through such projects. Therefore,

many cities have been undertaking these projects. According to Austrian and Rosentraub

(2002:549) there has been a trend among cities to revitalize downtown areas through the

construction of sports facilities. Bachelor (1998:89) contends that entertainment projects such as

sports stadiums were adopted as the main driver of economic development in the 1990s as

opposed to the 1980s when intergovernmental-funded industrial projects were responsible for

economic growth in Detroit.


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