Over decades, governments have been funding sports projects for they term them as ‘economic development’ projects. Sports projects require a great deal of funds, yet revenues that they generate are meager. Some economic experts assert that sports projects do not create significant job opportunities or considerable economic activities, which boost economic growth and development in various cities. Other economic experts hold that case-by-case analysis of sports projects indicate that some projects have economic benefits to justify their funding with public funds. Evidently, sports projects generate intangible benefits, which are difficult to assess using some economic methodologies. Therefore, the study recommends the analysis of sports projects using the methodology of case-by-case basis rather than general basis.
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The study is very significant because it justifies why governments fund sports projects as economic development projects in various cities. Economic experts acknowledge that sports projects are not as lucrative as other economic development projects, which governments fund because most of their benefits are intangible. In this view, the study is significant because it asserts that economic benefits of sports projects vary from one project to another, and thus, case-by-case economic analysis gives accurate economic benefits. Hence, economic experts need to assess economic benefits of sports projects using case-by-case analysis and inform relevant policy makers. Overall, the study is significant because it supports the establishment of sports projects, as they constitute strategies and contributors of economic development.
The methodology of the study is a literature review of appropriate materials related to the economic value of sports projects. Extensive review of literature review gives diverse insights of the economic benefits of sports projects and justify why governments should fund them using public funds. The study structured literature review into three sections, which how sports act as development strategy, contributes to economic development, and ultimately indicate how case-by-case analysis offers appropriate methodology of economic analysis. The review of sports as development strategy and contributor of economic development formed the basis of the case-by-case analysis. Essentially, the methodology of case-by-case analysis gave an effective economic analysis of sports projects.
The findings indicate that case-by-case analysis of projects gives an accurate method of analyzing the economic benefits of sports projects. Blair (1997) argues that cost-benefit analysis is not an accurate way of assessing the economic benefits of sports projects because it overlooks intangible benefits such as emotions, which compel economic development experts to give a biased analysis. In this view, biased analysis gives overestimation of benefits and underestimation of costs. Therefore, the findings recommend the application of appropriate tools in evaluation of sports projects using the methodology of case-by-case analysis, while allowing consensus among concerned parties to avert divisive decisions.
The article comprehensively captures benefits of funding sports projects using public funds. It acknowledges that general assessment of sports projects using cost-benefit analysis indicates that they are not as lucrative as other development projects, despite the fact that governments consider them as development projects. Through the literature review, the article clearly illustrates how case-by-case analysis is an appropriate methodology of analyzing the economic benefits of sports projects. The sources that the article used in illustrating the appropriateness of case-by-case methodology are sufficient, and thus, give weight to the literature review conducted. As the author, John Blair, is a prominent professor of economics at Wright State University, his arguments in the article are very credible. However, the findings have limited external and internal validity because the research methodology of the literature review is subjective in that different economists would give different opinions regarding sports-based economic development.
Blair, P. (1997). Sports-based economic development. Economic Development Review, 15(2), 51-54.