Professional athletes as a service to society; how sports teams help better the economy

In 2017, the South Los Angeles community was expected to bring in over $120 million  in revenue, create thousands of jobs, and ultimately experience economic progress overall. Results that could be attributed to none other than the Los Angeles football team, whose stadium officially opened in 2018. Sports, on all levels, have a common theme of bringing people together regardless of their differences. According to CNBC, in 2020 — “150 million Americans of all political persuasions watched the superbowl.” However, athletics can also be a great financial asset to communities and institutions. 

St. Edward’s University’s Associate Athletic Director Megan Jameson shared the positive effects that sports can create at the collegiate level. 

Athletics can certainly be a revenue generator at some institutions, and it varies by sport. Those funds can help support the university as a whole financially,” Jameson said.

In the past year, Austin  has experienced the lucrative business of a new Major League Soccer team, Austin FC. The team has aroused hopes for future improvements to the city. 

Former Austin Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Tovo was quoted by Austin FC in 2018 saying that the new team would “bring youth soccer programs, numerous other community benefits” as well as a franchise. In fact, Austin FC committed to around “six million dollars of support for youth soccer programs…including scholarships,” in addition to “four million dollars in contributions to build affordable housing.” 

The importance of sports to local and state communities goes beyond the programs that they can provide, but also contributes to employment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were not the only ones who suffered from the lack of play: All those employed by the sports business also faced devastation. As stated by ESPN, “there are roughly 3 million jobs within 524 occupations that are dependent on sports.” This includes security, ushers, ticketers, and service people, along with “fitness and aerobics instructors,” coaches, scouts, and countless others within the sports business. Athletics is not simply a realm for athletes, but also accommodates working-class citizens. 

The benefits that sports carry for the public can be seen within the cities and communities they are housed in. St. Edward’s student and Mansfield native Olivia Prior commented on how the New England Patriots affect her community. 

“The Patriots bring in a lot of revenue. The area around Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play, boosts our economy because there is this giant shopping and entertainment center that surrounds it,” said Prior. “There is a movie theater, restaurants, bars and hotels. Tourists and locals will go there throughout the year. They even do tours through the stadium.”

The sports environment contributes to many facets of our society, though they wouldn’t be able to get half as much done without support from fans. So why not go out and buy a ticket to that Red Sox game, or sit courtside to see Anthony Davis in action. After all, you are helping the economy.