Introduction

There has been a decades-long spree of public spending on sports facilities in the United States. Since 1960 more than 90 new facilities have been built for teams in the four dominant professional sports–baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. Of the total stadium financing of $17 billion over this period, more than two-thirds was provided by taxpayers (Keating 1999). During the same period, almost three dozen existing stadiums and arenas for the pro teams were renovated at a further cost of $2.5 billion. Although taxpayers were more frugal in these cases and did not finance new facilities, they generously provided more than 90 percent of the total.