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In most cases, professional sport stadiums are financed through a mix of public and private investment. The amount of public subsidy allocated for a stadium can vary greatly by project, as can the role of citizens in deciding such matters. With respect to public-stadium financing, research has focused chiefly on citizen participation through direct democracy (e.g., referendums and initiatives). However, the vast majority of stadium projects across North American professional sport receive public financing without any form of citizen vote. Cases of the socalled no-vote subsidy may be problematic to citizens, especially if public policy does not correspond to the public will, a fundamental principle of a democratic system of governance. Given the lack of research in this area, the purpose of this study was to develop a scale that measured citizens’ attitudes toward and consequences of a no-vote stadium subsidy. In this article, we introduce the Proxy Referendum on Public Stadium Appropriation (PROPSA), a 26- item instrument designed to measure seven constructs: support of financing plan, perceived stadium impact, trust in civically paternalistic leadership, team attendance intentions, congruence with democratic norms, political apathy, and voting intentions. Three associated propositions are introduced, and the scale tested using a sample of 401 voters registered in a county impacted by a recent no-vote subsidy. In the absence of a public vote, the PROPSA provides a tool for ascertaining the impact of the public will.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in

Kellison, T. B., & Kim, Y. K. (2017). Public attitudes toward no-vote stadium subsidies: The development and validation of an ex post proxy referendum. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9(3), 469–489.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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