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Mayors Move Sports Agenda Forward

By Tom McClimon
January 28, 2013

Mayors gathered for the meeting of the Mayors’ Professional Sports Alliance to discuss how the recent work of this group will help to move their agenda forward. Under the leadership of Indianapolis Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, the mayors heard how the partnership with New York University’s Tisch Center for Tourism, Hospitality, and Sports Management has helped to provide mayors with needed information on sports benefit their cities.

Lee Igel, Associate Professor at New York University’s Tisch Center, brought the mayors up to date on seven projects that were completed for the Alliance by graduate students. The seven projects were: the economic impact of major league sports on both the Indianapolis metro area and the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area; a case study of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts to maintain their National Basketball Association team, the Sacramento Kings; lease agreements in the NBA and National Hockey League cities; and ways cities in the United States can assist their Brazilian counterparts with the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games. New projects for the Alliance will be conducted by graduate students in the upcoming Spring semester.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman led a discussion on what is the proper role for mayors in future major sports leagues work stoppages. He cited the recent National Hockey League lockout and the impact it had on small businesses near the arena. Rick Horrow, Host of “Sportsfolio” on Bloomberg Television, also joined the discussions. The consensus seemed to be that once the mayors are fully able to demonstrate the contributions that the public makes to sports arenas and stadiums that it will be much easier for the mayors to engage the sports leagues into these types of discussions.