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Do urban sports facilities have unique social costs? An analysis of event-related congestion on police response time

Geoffrey Propheter

International Journal of Urban Sciences, 2020, vol. 24, issue 2, 271-281

Abstract: Sports facilities across the globe are increasingly being sited in the urban core. The existing literature in sports and urban affairs fails to consider that the magnitude of negative externalities attributed to sports facilities could vary by the built environment, that the social costs of locating a facility in the urban core may be greater than the social costs of locating it in more suburban areas due to the greater development density in the former. This study test this hypothesis using daily police incident-level data from Sacramento, California in 2016, when a professional basketball team moved from a more suburban arena to a new one in the city’s downtown. Using a doughnut-hole specification in a triple difference-in-difference framework, it is concluded that police response time to incidents in the immediate vicinity of the downtown arena during event periods is on average 7.4 per cent longer, or about 33 seconds. No such delay is observed for incidents near the suburban arena during event periods. Both conclusions are robust to a placebo.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/12265934.2019.1625805

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