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Stadium Promises & Media Bias

Rick Eckstein, sociologist at Villanova and co-author of "Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums," writes in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

In a just-released article in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, my colleagues and I studied media coverage of 23 publicly financed stadium initiatives in 16 different cities, including Philadelphia. We found that the mainstream media in most of these cities is noticeably biased toward supporting publicly financed stadiums, which has a significant impact on the initiatives' success.

This bias usually takes the form of uncritically parroting stadium proponents' economic and social promises, quoting stadium supporters far more frequently than stadium opponents, overlooking the numerous objective academic studies on the topic, and failing to independently examine the multitude of failed stadium-centered promises throughout the country, especially those in oft-cited "success cities" such as Denver and Cleveland.

The story is worth reading in its entirety; so is Eckstein's book.