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24/7 Wall St.: Cities Paying The Most For Sports Teams

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Cities Paying The Most For Sports Teams

On February 3, New Orleans will host Super Bowl XLVII in one of the biggest television and tourism events of the year. Cities across the nation hope to host the game, which brings potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy. According to a July study by Rockport Analytics, last year’s game contributed $277.9 million to the gross domestic product of the Indianapolis metro area, last year’s host.

In order to attract a professional sports team, a city must have the right venue. But because there are a limited number of major league teams, cities must compete for them. To encourage teams to relocate or stay, cities often subsidize the costs of building stadiums. Based on a new book on the history of how sports stadiums are built and paid for, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the cities where the public has spent the most to attract or keep major league teams.

To identify the 10 cities that spend the most money per capita on sports stadiums, 24/7 Wall St. relied on “Public/Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities,” a book on municipal stadium spending by Judith Grant Long. To calculate the total per capita expense that each city bore, Long included financing costs for all sports stadiums that were in operation as of 2010. In addition to data on stadiums, 24/7 Wall St. used the U.S. Census Bureau for metropolitan statistical area population and median income, as well as gross metropolitan product from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Ticket sales data is from, and team records were obtained from Sports Reference, an online sports statistics database.

(AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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