Cleveland and Detroit, both symbolic for urban erosion and job loss built extravagant stadiums in the last 10 years. These stadiums were built under the cloud of extortion by owners threatening to move to another city and the perceived negative economic impact of such a move (it had already happened to Cleveland and their stadium was essentially the largesse demanded by the league and the new owners to reinstate the team).
The prevailing myth, propagated in a manner that would make P.T. Barnum blush is that a city with a football franchise reaps almost unimaginable economic rewards. The advocates for the owners particularly love to inject the dollar multiplier, an economic factor of proportionality that suggest, in this context, for every dollar spent at the ballpark and surrounding business, 6 times the amount will be realized. Sounds really good but it is a canard of immense proportionality. The functionality of the multiplier is regarding whole economies and not really informational when taking a Sunday afternoon snapshot of a local economy. Whatever transient positive economic impact a football team has on a community is fully muted when one factors in the economic incentives provided for the team by the municipalities. The proof of my assertion is in the reality of the economic viability of these and most other NFL cities. Have these cities experienced a renaissance in term of economic advancement, jobs, education or infrastructure because of their shiny stadiums and football teams? I think not. In contrast, what would the same economic incentives, offered to companies that manufacture things in this country and provide year round employment with good wages do for the cities economic well-being?