Do stadiums spur new development?

Stadium advocates would answer that question with a resounding “YES!”, but the actual picture is more murky as blogger Nathaniel Hood suggests in a recentĀ post. He supports his skepticism about this claim with a series of aerial photos of stadiums and their surroundings over a 15-20 year period. In city after city (e.g., Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Philadelphia). The real culprit appears to be the amount of land devoted to surface parking lots and the considerable cost involved in building parking garages to free up land for redevelopment.

Does this suggest cities interested in using sports facilities as a catalyst for redevelopment would be better advised to focus on arenas or smaller stadiums housing soccer or minor league baseball?

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