Economist: NBA Teams Don't Do Much for Economy
"Generally speaking, you can't anticipate an economic benefit," Zimbalist said. "You get other benefits, but not economic benefits."
"It's kind of subjective," Zimbalist said. "How do people feel -- I know right now they don't feel great about (Paul) Allen and the Trail Blazers -- but how do they feel in general about having a basketball team in their community?
"It's at that level that it needs to be evaluated rather than some notion that having the team is going to turn you into a first-class city or make your per-capita income go up by thousands of dollars."
And the article also includes this:
"It is kind of difficult to figure out," said David Carter, professor of sports business at the University of Southern California. "You have to get to the heart of whether these fans -- whether they're corporations with luxury suites or club seats or what have you, or the everyday fans and season-ticket holders -- if they would otherwise still spend, but on other sports and entertainment. Then the downside is mitigated quite a bit."
Some believe the presence of an NBA team can have an economic impact by functioning as a magnet for luring new employees by improving the quality of life.
But an informal survey of high-profile companies in Portland and Vancouver suggested the Blazers' presence has little impact on recruiting new employees from other areas.