WMU News

Expert to address economics of new stadiums

March 12, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The impact of stadium building and expansion on the economic health of a community will be explored at Western Michigan University Wednesday, March 24.

Dr. Andrew Zimbalist, the Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College, will discuss "Stadium Mania and Economic Reality" at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall. His presentation will be free and open to the public.

Zimbalist, whose research focuses on comparative economics, Latin American economic development and the economics of sports, has been a consultant to city governments in Portland, Ore.; Tampa, Fla.; Cincinnati; St. Louis; and Los Angeles regarding stadium building and sports franchises. He is the author of the 1992 book, "Baseball and Billions: A Probing Look Inside the Big Business of Our National Pastime," which BusinessWeek listed as one of the eight best business books that year. Zimbalist has also served as a consultant on sports issues, including the litigation for the National Football League Player's Association to attain free agency as well as for collective bargaining issues involving the National Basketball Players' and the Major League Baseball Players' associations.

Zimbalist's presentation is the fifth in the 1998-99 Department of Economics lecture series on "The Economics of Sports: Winners and Losers." This is the 35th year of the annual guest lecture series co-sponsored by WMU's Department of Economics and the College of Arts and Sciences with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research of Kalamazoo. The final speaker in the series will be Dr. Lawrence M. Kahn, professor of labor economics and collective bargaining at Cornell University's New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, who will talk about "A Level Playing Field? Sports and Discrimination," at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall.

For more information, contact Dr. William S. Kern, associate professor of economics and director of the series, at (616) 387-5549.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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