Professional sports venues as catalysts for revitalization? Perspectives from industry experts

Rylan Graham, Meagan M. Ehlenz, Albert T. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Throughout North America, professional sports venues (PSV) have become a prominent urban redevelopment strategy. Much of the previous research related to PSV has focused on economic impacts and the use of public money to help fund construction. Conversely, there is less research exploring the relationship between PSV and the urban environment. To better understand this relationship, we disseminated a web-based survey to planning and development practitioners. Our research explores the degree to which industry experts: (1) perceive PSV as catalysts for development and revitalization; (2) associate PSV siting, policies, and programs with development and revitalization objectives; and (3) believe PSV investments in different (sub)urban locales can affect neighborhood change. Our findings illustrate a high degree of expert optimism, with respondents reporting that they believe PSV have the capacity to generate place-based changes. Their responses support a downtown-centric perspective, as professionals see greater opportunity for PSV to drive change in downtowns relative to more peripheral locations. Notably, respondents indicate that municipalities play a prominent role in supporting PSV outcomes, primarily through the adoption and implementation of key land use, zoning, and planning policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • North America
  • Sports arenas and stadiums
  • anchor institution
  • revitalization
  • special activity generator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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