Sports, Spectatorship, and Classism: The Cultural Environment of the New Stadia and Arenas in the United States

James Wittebols


A recent news report claimed that over 20 billion dollars had been spent on new professional sports facilities in the last decade. The recently opened "Safeco Field" in Seattle cost over a half billion to build. At a time when conservative

ideology strives to have government "do less," local and state governments have been eagerly underwriting the cost of these mammoth projects. By 1997, over one half of the country's

115 pro sports franchises had plans or had built or renovated their facilities. Why have all these new stadia and arenas been built in such a compressed space of time? What are the social

and cultural implications of these projects-what kind of social environments do these public spaces create?

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