The Promotion of Well-being through Sporting Activities
New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series
Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Késenne and Brad R. Humphreys
Michael C. Davis and Christian M. End INTRODUCTION 1. Professional football in the United States is a big-time leisure activity with millions of fans fervently anticipating the games of their favorite teams every Sunday in the fall. Unlike the other quintessential American game, baseball, which is described as a marathon with the possibility of redemption the next day, each football game is seemingly the ‘most important game of the year’ with fans forced to wait a week before their favorite teams compete again. The win and/or conversations highlighting the previous victory may induce an emotional high that could make getting through the following workweek tolerable, and maybe even pleasant. Perhaps even an increase in productivity at work could follow a win the proceeding weekend? This chapter hopes to show a link between the success of the local National Football League (NFL) team and worker productivity in the local metropolitan area. It is possible that simply being the hometown of the NFL team is beneficial. However, the economics literature has extensively shown that the construction of stadiums, the presence of teams or the hosting of major events does not have a positive impact on the local economies (see Coates and Humphreys, 2008, for a comprehensive summary). Examining those papers specifically related to football, Baade and Dye (1990), Coates and Humphreys (1999, 2001) and Gius and Johnson (2001) found little evidence in support of a positive effect of having an NFL team in the city on the per capita income of the...
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