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.
Timothy B. Kellison and Michael J. Mondello
Timothy B. Kellison and Yu Kyoum Kim
Professional sport organizations are showing increasing interest in proenvironmental strategies, as evidenced in part by the recent incorporation of sustainable design in many facilities. This interest may be driven by the perceived positive outcomes associated with the triple bottom line (TBL), which illustrates the environmental, social, and economic benefits of proenvironmental initiatives. The TBL has been the subject of both acclaim and criticism by scholars and practitioners, and this study provides new insight into its appropriateness as a reflection of proenvironmental organizations’ motives. Through standardized interviews, the authors found that professional sport organizations place particular emphasis on the TBL’s social component, which represents the objectives of increasing environmental awareness among fans and attracting new consumers. This study contends that the TBL’s three components are closely intertwined, and the implementation of commercial and social marketing strategies is necessary to attend to and realize the organizations’ stated goal of maximizing all three components.
Lana L. Huberty, Timothy B. Kellison, and Mike Mondello
As state- and local-government subsidies to professional sport organizations have increased over the past 3 decades, economic arguments have been crafted to justify these subsidies, such as Crompton’s claims of increased community visibility, enhanced community image, stimulation of other development, and psychic income. The purpose of this study was to examine the public relations strategy of a professional sport organization campaigning to secure public funding for a new stadium. Specifically, the authors focused on the use of press releases by the Minnesota Vikings, a National Football League team, over the 3 seasons preceding the completion of their successful sport-stadium campaign. This study was timely in that these press releases were from 2010, 2011, and 2012 and the new Vikings stadium grand opening is set for 2016. Through a qualitative analysis, the authors identified the arguments made by the team to garner support for the stadium plan during the Vikings’ campaign. In all, 71 press releases were collected, examined, and coded by investigators. Findings are discussed to provide insight into these 4 alternative justification arguments.