Big Business

Andrew Zimbalist discusses the economics of new ballparks

1 minute 1 seconds

"You brought the ballpark back to the center of the city so that you could put it next to the corporate base of the city. And, and have corporations come at the end of the day come to your ballpark. Buy luxury boxes; buy season seats; buy club seats; do catering at the ballpark. And if you got a richer clientele into the ballpark paying much, much more for the seats and much, much more for the catering and concession then signage becomes more valuable because corporations want to hit that, that consumer base. When you ask the question should cities do this? I would always say that as a general principle unless you have other investments happening simultaneously you don't do it for economic reasons. But the fact that you don't do it for economic reasons doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Because a ball team and a ballpark bring you other benefits. They bring you psychic benefits, social benefits. What economists call externalities or public good effects, consumer surplus. There are other benefits. But if you think that what you're doing is creating economic development in and of itself then don't do it for that reason."