Professional Sports, Hurricane Katrina, and the Economic Redevelopment of New Orleans

13 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2007

See all articles by Robert A. Baade

Robert A. Baade

Lake Forest College - Department of Economics

Victor A. Matheson

College of the Holy Cross - Department of Economics

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in late August 2005, resulting in damage to much of the city's sports infrastructure and the departure of both of New Orleans' major-league professional sports teams, the National Football League Saints and the National Basketball Association Hornets. What should the city provide in the way of financial accommodation to encourage them to return? This paper suggests that post-Katrina New Orleans will have a difficult time retaining their franchises over the long run and in attempting to do so may hinder the redevelopment of the city. Furthermore, the very incentives designed to attract teams in the first place leave cities vulnerable to their departure in times of crisis. Finally, playing host to professional sports and mega-events does have symbolic significance, but it is arguable that this is an amenity the city cannot currently afford.

JEL Classification: H25, H71, H40, L83, Q54

Suggested Citation

Baade, Robert A. and Matheson, Victor A., Professional Sports, Hurricane Katrina, and the Economic Redevelopment of New Orleans. Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 591-603, October 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1026116 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2007.00075.x

Robert A. Baade (Contact Author)

Lake Forest College - Department of Economics ( email )

555 N. Sheridan Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
United States

Victor A. Matheson

College of the Holy Cross - Department of Economics ( email )

1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610-2395
United States

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