Dennis Coates has joined The Sports Economist as a contributor. Dennis has done some of the best scholarly work on the economic impact of sports stadiums, and his post below on the Kansas City referendum is particularly timely.
Here is Dennis' page at REPEC, which has a number of insightful articles on public choice and the economic of sports. One of my favorite articles for lay people is Dennis' CATO piece with Brad Humphreys, "Caught Stealing: Debunking the Economic Case for DC Baseball." It is great to have Dennis on board.
Let me reiterate (once again) that Coates, Humphreys, myself, and many others who have studied these issues enjoy the games. We also recognize that spillover benefits of some magnitude exist (see exhibits 1 and 2, for example). But the argument that wealthy owners and players require a subsidy from taxpayers should be examined critically. Arguments for subsidies are made repeatedly in the popular press based on economic impact. These arguments are theoretically and empirically unsound, and as economists it's our job to point this out. Whether we live and die by the Astros and the Arsenal (I've died many deaths), or not.