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Tuesday / September 29.
  • No products in the cart. Podcast: Are public-funded mega-events and sports venues a boon or a boondoggle? Podcast: Are public-funded mega-events and sports venues a boon or a boondoggle?


Western Economic Association International brought its 93rd annual conference to Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver at the end of June. 

More than 2,000 people from 71 countries participated in the meeting that rated and debated the latest economic research, across the spectrum. Among them were 50 sports economists who showed research in-progress about how a new stadium can harm real estate values, how the public subsidizes security costs for pro sports events and why the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics were not the promised tourism bonanza for Brazil.

On this edition, hear host Bob Mackin’s interview with Victor Matheson, a professor from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., at the conference about trends and issues in the business of sports. Such as Seattle’s Key Arena renovation, Calgary’s 2026 Winter Olympics bid and the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, which ends July 15.

“Very often teams get direct or indirect subsidies from cities or states or provinces, money is spent from taxpayer money to build stadiums and, of course, there is huge public spending on hosting big events,” Matheson said. “A person who is going to be receiving subsidy money, that’s probably a person you shouldn’t necessarily believe when they say ‘oh, yeah, hand a bunch of money to me and we will all get rich’. That’s something you probably want to take with a grain of salt.”

Also: commentaries and headlines from around the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest, and a taste of the Khatsahlano Street Party. 

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