Rosentraub (Urban Policy Problems, Greenwood, 1986) has written a detailed, sober study of the complex relationship between pro sports owners and public officials, who have become significantly intertwined as more public monies are spent to attract and keep sports franchises. The elaborate economics of this "welfare for sports owners" are analyzed thoroughly, with the result being Rosentraub's reasoned suggestion that there is insufficient return on the investment of the hundreds of millions that owners usually want. He also explains the powerful interest communities have in the professional sports franchise. Look for the author to be in heavy demand on the talk-show circuit and in open debate with owners. His solid, complete examination will stand as the definitive study of a controversial subject. It should be required reading for business majors and especially for mayors and other public officials. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This dense and sometimes difficult financial analysis leads to easily understood and sensible conclusions about the business of sports. Rosentraub (of the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at Indiana Univ.) is an avid sports fan who concedes the substantial intangible benefits a city can reap from a successful sports franchise. The goal of this exhaustive study, however, is to demonstrate that, economically, cities that spend millions to attract these franchises come out barely even or, more often, wind up deep in the hole. Rosentraub studies the finances of stadium projects in such cities as Indianapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, Toronto, and Montreal. Indianapolis, for instance, tried to revitalize its sleepy image and its deteriorating downtown through a multipronged strategy of attracting both professional and amateur athletic activity. But in the end it merely demonstrated Rosentraub's claim that sports is too small a part of any city's economy to generate much growth in terms of jobs and income, nor do profits spill over into other businesses in the community. Team owners, he argues, blackmail cities into huge ``welfare'' subsidies that ``transfer . . . wealth from the lower and middle classes to the upper class.'' They are able to do so because ``sports cartels'' insure that ``the number of cities that want teams exceeds the supply,'' thus setting off bidding wars among locales. Rosentraub's solution: End the cartels, get the government out of sports, and let the free market rule. Acknowledging the substantial obstacles to such obvious but radical remedies, he argues that taxpayers at the least must demand to know who pays and who profits, and then decide just how much the intangible benefits of sports are worth. Every New Yorker, especially Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, must read this book before agreeing to a billion-dollar-plus stadium for the Yankees. Ditto for other cities contemplating the construction of a new stadium. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews