Urban revitalization tools: assessing the impacts of sports stadia at the microarea level

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Urban revitalization tools: assessing the impacts of sports stadia at the microarea level

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Title: Urban revitalization tools: assessing the impacts of sports stadia at the microarea level
Author: Chapin, Timothy Stewart
Abstract: Central cities throughout the United States have seized upon sports facilities as a means to revitalize specific districts within their downtowns. Not to be outdone, suburban cities have also invested millions in sports facilities to illustrate their "coming of age" and to focus development into designated districts. During the planning and development stages of these projects, stadium proponents noisily argue that these projects generate employment opportunities, attract private investment, and provide significant image benefits to the cities that invest in them. Governments justify their expenditures upon these claims of economic development at both the metropolitan and local levels. Despite these claims, mounting evidence suggests that sports stadia have only marginal positive impacts upon the metropolitan economy. However, most of these studies of sports facilities have focused upon the economic impacts at the metropolitan level. Those very few studies that have attempted to assess the local district, or "microarea", impacts of sports facilities have so far generated mixed results. This dissertation addresses the "microarea gap" in the literature by refocusing the analysis to the microarea level. Using a comparative case study approach, this paper identifies, quantifies, and assesses the microarea impacts of recently opened sports stadia in three cities: Baltimore, Cleveland, and Arlington (TX). The study centers on parcel-level land use data collected for the district surrounding these stadium projects. Demographic data and interviews with local stakeholders augment the study to provide a more complete assessment of impacts at this level. This study has far-reaching implications for future large scale tourism and recreation-oriented development projects. Research results provide cities with a better understanding of the microarea benefits and costs associated with sports stadia projects.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 1999
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/10831

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