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Scholarship on sports stadium subsidies has covered myriad topics, including economic impact, finance, political strategy, and voter behavior. One area receiving much less attention from researchers is the emergence of the no-vote subsidy—where stadium-finance decisions are decided without a public vote—as a frequent alternative to direct democracy (i.e., referendums or initiatives). In this article, it is contended that an unfavorable no-vote subsidy can have damaging effects on a team’s financial performance, the reputation of elected officials, and citizen confidence in the democratic process. Whereas previous analyses of stadium-subsidy debates often end with a voting outcome (i.e., the issue is passed or rejected), the conceptual model presented in this article explores how attitudes toward a no-vote stadium subsidy are formed, and how these attitudes can have widespread effects on a number of individuals, groups, and institutions.


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Kellison, T. B. (2016). No-vote stadium subsidies and the democratic response. International Journal of Sport Management, 17(3), 452–477.

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