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Excerpts - THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S GUIDE TO ASSESSING A SPORTS COMPLEX PROPOSAL

Excerpts - THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S GUIDE TO ASSESSING A SPORTS COMPLEX PROPOSAL

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Published by Brian Cummins
THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S GUIDE TO ASSESSING A SPORTS COMPLEX PROPOSAL

A Thesis

Presented to the faculty of the Department of Public Policy and Administration California State University, Sacramento

MASTER OF PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

by Ryan Scott Ong

SPRING 2013
THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL’S GUIDE TO ASSESSING A SPORTS COMPLEX PROPOSAL

A Thesis

Presented to the faculty of the Department of Public Policy and Administration California State University, Sacramento

MASTER OF PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

by Ryan Scott Ong

SPRING 2013

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TBE P0BLIC 0FFICIAL'S u0IBE T0 ASSESSINu A SP0RTS C0NPLEX PR0P0SAL

A Thesis

Piesenteu to the faculty of the Bepaitment of Public Policy anu Auministiation
Califoinia State 0niveisity, Saciamento

NASTER 0F P0BLIC P0LICY ANB ABNINISTRATI0N

by Ryan Scott 0ng

SPRINu 2u1S

http:¡¡www.csus.euu¡ppa¡thesis-pioject¡bank¡2u1S¡0ng.puf

|EXCERPTS:j

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0fficials often ieceive fuithei piessuie fiom local auvocate coalitions, usually
composeu of vocal constituents, lobbyist, unionist, uevelopeis, anu the meuia.
Belany anu Eckstein (2uu7) uefine auvocate coalitions as institutional anu
iueological alliances between stakeholueis who tenu to poitiay pio-coipoiation
beliefs. Fans obviously iepiesent thieateneu loss of votes. Lobbyists aie paiu to
piomote spoits complexes. 0nion leaueis want moie jobs foi theii woikeis. The
meuia tenu to give moie coveiage to auvocates than opponents.

Such auvocate coalitions aie foimable auveisaiies to those who uo not want to
subsiuize a spoits complex. Local auvocate coalitions tenu to bettei oiganizeu anu
funueu. Those who ieject using public money to subsiuize a spoits complex tenu to
be unoiganizeu oi a "iagtag banu of libeitaiians oi anti-tax activist" (Bast, 1998).
This anti-subsiuy coalition may be lucky enough to put the subsiuy uecision on a
local ballot anu win, but shoitly afteiwaiu, these suppoiteis uispeise anu public
officials aie again uealing with the local auvocate coalitions (Keating, 1999).

The local auvocate coalition tenus to iemain uniteu anu is able to continue to piess
the issue anu eventually gain a subsiuy ovei time (Bast, 1998). Foi example, the
Seattle Naiineis secuieu $24u million to constiuct a new stauium. Theie was an
imbalance of iesouices between the local auvocate coalition anu the anti-subsiuy
paities. The local auvocate coalition spent $1.S million as compaieu to anti-subsiuy
opponents who spent $Su,uuu (Bast, 1998). Buiing initiatives to builu new football
stauiums in San Fiancisco anu Seattle in 1997, auvocates outspent opponents 2S to
1 in San Fiancisco anu auvocates outspent opponents 8u to 1 in Seattle Noll anu
Zimbalist (1997, p. 8S).

Belany anu Eckstein (2uu7) ievieweu nine uiffeient cities anu compaieu the
amount of subsiuy to the stiength of the local auvocate coalition. The two
ieseaicheis founu that cities with stiong auvocate coalitions aie likely to ieceive
financial subsiuies because they can suppiess theii opposition ovei time. Theie
ieseaicheu was confiimeu by inteiviewing local constituents anu involveu
stakeholueis, ieviewing economic iepoits, anu analyzeu the meuia's coveiage.

They fuithei concluueu that auvocate coalitions favoi subsiuizing spoits complexes
because of peisonal inteiest such as tiying to ietain oi impiove the woikfoice
talent. They believe that if a city uoes not have oi loses a team, it will be uetiimental
to the woikfoice anu business.

These coalitions aie successful in suppiessing the outciy fiom theii opponents foi
bettei infiastiuctuie, schools, oi public safety. Belany anu Eckstein (2uu7)
concluueu that Cincinnati, Pittsbuigh, anu Clevelanu have a "coipoiate-centiic"
community that associates economic giowth with the uevelopment of a spoits team
anu its complex. Ninneapolis, Philauelphia, anu Baitfoiu weie able to minimize the
subsiuy foi a spoits complex because the local auvocate coalitions in these cities
weie weak.

456# 73+#"18239 !(12/2-$ (' :%;$2+2<239 . :=("/$ 0()=1#> |page 97j

.When it comes to the political suppoit foi a spoits complex, it takes moie than a
publicity campaign. Especially when the economy is stiuggling, the public will be
ieluctant to take on new uebt. Theie must be a seiious commitment of all inteiesteu
paities, anu the public will not toleiate owneis oi investois who aie unwilling to
stake theii own money.

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