Major League Winners

February 5, 2008
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RosentraubAuthor and former IUPUI dean Mark Rosentraub is writing another book.

This one, titled “Major League Winners,” focuses on the five U.S. cities he thinks have most successfully used sports as an economic development tool.

Those cities are Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; San Diego; and St. Louis. Rosentraub hopes to finish the book this summer.

In 1997, Rosentraub published “Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who’s Paying for It,” a 513-page book that took a critical look at major-league sports operations and the subsidization of professional sports venues and teams by government entities and taxpayers.

Rosentraub, who is now dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, is in the process of researching Indianapolis for the new book.

“I just finished the data collection on Indianapolis, and the downtown development is really spectacular,” Rosentraub said. “The focus of this book is that those [cities] that used arenas and stadiums as a tool for downtown development, win. Those cities that didn’t do that, lose.”

Rosentraub’s preliminary conclusion is that Indianapolis is one of the biggest winners. What do you think?
  • Rosentraub can be very critical. So praise from him is very encouraging.
  • I'll be interested to see his praise for these cities but especially StL - a city that broke the bank to bring the Rams. That deal set the bar way too high causing others, including Indy, to become Major League Losers by rewarding NFL owners for being NFL owners.

    StL has tied new downtown development to the new Busch Stadium as did Columbus with the Arena district around Nationwide Arena.

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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.