Yeah, I've read that. I've also read this :http://www.humankine...d-Public-Policy
Here's an excerpt, that generally agrees with what that study says. But there are other parts of the book that focus on different metrics that posit the exact opposite. Point being, it depends on what factors you want to look at, as with most statistics. You can prove either point, I just happen to be in the camp that it benefits the local economy, not the other way around.
The significant investment by local governments suggests that the economic returns of sport must be quite large. Indeed economic benefits are often proffered as the justification for sport subsidies. Teams, stadiums, and events are commonly promoted as economic catalysts. For example, in 1997 a group campaigning for a new publicly funded football stadium for the San Francisco 49ers used the slogan “Build the Stadium—Create the Jobs!” (Epstein, 1997). The Oregon Stadium Campaign, a group working to bring major-league baseball to Portland, ran an ad in the local newspaper that read, “$150 million company seeks move to Oregon. Will bring jobs, development, snappy new uniforms.”
If you have read the previous chapters of this book, we hope that you are now convinced that talking about sport as big business is legitimate. Sport leagues cater to ever-expanding global markets. Wealthy individuals and powerful conglomerates buy and sell teams for hundreds of millions of dollars. Unions struggle with owners for their share of revenue, and salaries climb increasingly higher, in part because of escalating television contracts. Big business indeed, but how big is big? By many indicators, sport teams as individual firms play only minor roles within complex urban economies.
Many professional sport teams have annual revenues that exceed $100 million. Average annual revenues are approximately $155 million in the NFL, $130 million in MLB, $95 million in the NBA, and $70 million in the NHL (Zimbalist, 2003). These numbers may seem large, but some comparisons can provide perspective. If you are enrolled in a state university, chances are that your school takes in more revenue and spends more than the closest professional sport team. For example, Portland State University has a budget of nearly $200 million, more than twice that of the Portland Trailblazers. For another comparison, consider this: In 2003 the average Costco wholesale store had annual sales of $113 million, exceeding the revenues of most sport teams (Heylar, 2003). Few would expect a big-box warehouse store to be a major player in an urban economy, yet they are typically bigger businesses than sport teams. Of course, the local warehouse store does not have devoted fans who wear Costco hats, paint their faces in Costco blue and red, and follow the successes and failures of the store on the nightly news. We will discuss those benefits (consumption benefits) in the next chapter, but for now let us focus on the role of sport teams in the local economy.