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Michael J. Mondello

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Michael J. Mondello

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Timothy B. Kellison and Michael J. Mondello

Direct democracy practices such as initiatives and referenda are increasingly ignored or circumvented by political leaders who allocate subsidies toward new professional sport stadium developments. In a democracy, such a means of governing may be problematic if the outcome is unreflective of the public will. The existing literature makes several theoretical connections for this line of political decision-making, including urban growth machines and trustee–delegate representation. In this paper, these concepts are integrated with empirical evidence to support the conceptualization of civic paternalism, a term that provides partial description of the political decision-making process. Civic paternalists justify their decisions by arguing that a city’s continued vibrancy and growth optimize community benefit while remaining acutely aware of their decisions’ political consequences. We illustrate the concept of civic paternalism by drawing from interviews with political leaders associated with one of the most recent cases of the no-vote subsidy.

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Bruce K. Johnson, Michael J. Mondello and John C. Whitehead

Using the contingent valuation method, this article estimates the value of public goods the National Football League’s Jaguars produce for Jacksonville, Florida, including the value of elevating Jacksonville to “major league” status and the value of improving racial relations. It also estimates the incremental value of public goods potentially produced by a National Basketball Association team in Jacksonville. The present value of public goods created by the Jaguars is $36.5 million or less, far below subsidies provided to attract the Jaguars. For a basketball team, the figure is less than $22.8 million. The results add to the growing body of CVM literature indicating that sport public goods probably cannot justify the large public expenditures on stadiums and arenas.

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Michael J. Mondello, Richard W. Schwester and Brad R. Humphreys

Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays have proposed constructing a facility on the St. Petersburg waterfront. The projected cost of this stadium is $450 million, which will be financed partially by the Rays’ ownership. The remaining cost will be financed through tax revenues generated from the private redevelopment of Tropicana Field—the Rays’ current facility. Using content analysis, this article examines the public discourse regarding the proposed stadium. A pillar of controversy surrounding the stadium plan centers on opportunity-cost issues. Furthermore, in the context of the public-good argument, there is empirical evidence among bloggers that the stadium would stimulate awareness, improve the city’s image, or simply give the city a platform to showcase its amenities. This study aimed to provide a better understanding of the prevailing themes characterizing support for or opposition to this stadium plan and generate testable research hypotheses.