Professional sports stadiums have seen an enormous boom since 1990, often drawing on millions of dollars in public financing. Economics professor Dennis Coates, writing in the American, examines whether the expenditures actually benefit local economies—and finds the answer a general "no." Stadiums actually reduce per-capita income, drive down wages, and divert spending from other areas. Further, he argues:
- Those who benefit most from stadium-related spending—athletes—tend to spend income elsewhere, "so the money paid to players does not circulate as widely or abundantly as it would were it paid to people with less wealth and more attachment to the city."
- Special taxes to finance stadiums are paid by visitors, who in turn might avoid the added cost of conventions and other gatherings in cities that impose them.
- Though a public-goods benefit of $10 per person is high enough to justify stadium construction, Coates finds a resulting hit of that same amount on per-capita income.