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Live From Los Angeles: Can Sports Make A City?

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart of the Los Angeles Lakers jump for a rebound during a 119-112 loss to the New York Knicks in Los Angeles, California.
Harry How/Getty Images
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart of the Los Angeles Lakers jump for a rebound during a 119-112 loss to the New York Knicks in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles has a busy couple of years coming up. The city is slated to host the Olympics in 2028, potentially will hold some of the World Cup in 2026 and a second National Football League team now calls the city its home — the Chargers, formerly of San Diego.

Officials often claim sports are boons for the local economy, due to the influx of tourists and infrastructure improvements. But is that actually true?

From The New York Times:

But there is strikingly little evidence that such events increase tourism or draw new investment. Spending lavishly on a short-lived event is, economically speaking, a dubious long-term strategy. Stadiums, which cost a lot and produce minimal economic benefits, are a particularly lousy line of business. (This is why they are usually built by taxpayers rather than by corporations.)

However, Los Angeles has a history of making these events worth it. In 1984, the city avoided building new stadiums for the Olympics. And Curbed Los Angeles reports that those Games actually helped solve one thing that plagues Angelenos — traffic.

We’re weighing the costs and benefits of major sporting events, in a special edition of 1A, live from KPCC.

GUESTS

Meghan McCarty Carino, Commuting and mobility reporter, KPCC Southern California Public Radio 89.3; @meghamama

Alissa Walker, Urbanism editor, Curbed.com; @awalkerinLA

Rick Burton, David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management, Syracuse University’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; @RealRickB

Brian Kamenetzky, Radio host, ESPNLA 710; contributor, TheAthletic.com; @BrianKamenetzky

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2019 WAMU 88.5

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