In March 2020, the professional sports world stopped. European soccer, professional US basketball and baseball, and world cricket all suspended play. It was a huge blow to fans and athletes all over the world who rely on sports for pleasure and camaraderie.
But for the greater economy, it really wasn’t a big deal. Despite the hype about sports teams generating growth, sports economists generally agree that professional sports teams play a surprisingly small role in the economy of their cities.
“The scale of a baseball team’s impact is far greater than any other sports because there are so many games,” said Michael Leeds, an economist at Temple University. “But its economic impact is similar to that of a midsized department store.”