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Voting on Stadium and Arena Subsidies

Dennis Coates () and Brad Humphreys ()

No 03-105, UMBC Economics Department Working Papers from UMBC Department of Economics

Abstract: We analyze voting on subsidies for professional sports facilities in Harris County (Houston), Texas and Brown County (Green Bay), Wisconsin to learn more about voter preferences for these subsidies. The results differ somewhat between the two jurisdictions, as do the nature of the supports being proposed and the communities. One consistent result is that voting precincts that have a relatively high degree of poverty tend to oppose subsidies for professional sports. Another consistent result is that voters in close proximity to existing facilities are more likely to favor subsidies than are voters living farther from the facilities. In Harris County, the results consistently indicate that those over 65 years of age, whites, and those with Bachelors degrees statistically significantly oppose subsidies while those with higher incomes and blacks favor the subsidies. Different values of consumption benefits, stemming from differences in preferences, may explain these voting patterns.

Keywords: Local Economic Development; Professional Sports; Referendums (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R58 J30 H71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2003-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-pbe, nep-pol and nep-ure
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