Date of Award

Spring 3-7-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Management and Policy

First Advisor

Cathy Liu

Second Advisor

Jesse Lecy

Third Advisor

Joseph Hacker

Fourth Advisor

Ann-Margaret Esnard

Fifth Advisor

Juan Rogers


Special Activity Generators have been a policy popular with governments across the country seeking to revitalize lethargic downtowns. Sports facilities, a widespread form of Special Activity Generators, have been shown to be incapable of generating regional economic benefits, but are able to generate urban redevelopment. While sports facilities are well studied by academics, minor league stadiums have not been the focus of significant research despite the larger number of such projects. My dissertation uses a sequential explanatory mixed methodology to answer whether minor league baseball stadiums are successful as Special Activity Generators. I first use a quantitative analysis of sixteen stadiums built around the year 2000 which finds a significant effect of the stadium on nearby neighborhoods in comparison to the rest of the city. However, that growth is created by concentrating redevelopment, not creating unique activity. Two case studies clarify that the stadiums were critical to the observed redevelopment efforts, but also that there is a need for thorough planning and collocated amenities prior to construction in order to maximize the results from the public investment.