Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Neal Pease

Committee Members

Marc Levine, Michael Gordon


Baseball, Brooklyn, Community Identity, Milwaukee, Stadium Financing, Washington, D.C.


This paper seeks to understand the role that professional sports teams play in influencing community identity. Specifically, it hypothesizes that community identity is one of the main factors in cities choosing to provide public funds as subsidies for the construction of sports stadiums and arenas. This influence is important, as economists generally accept that stadiums do not provide the economic contributions that popular rhetoric presents as justification for their construction. By looking at three cases where considerations of a publicly funded stadium resulted in a city losing its professional team, the larger discourse of public subsidies is augmented in complexity. While each case retains distinctive features, all three cities share a common thread of contributing in some way to the reinforcement of the stadium subsidization process.