Build it or they will leave
With their victory last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks secured homefield advantage throughout the National Football League playoffs. And what an advantage it is.
The Seahawks have been nearly untouchable at home during the last two seasons—going 15-1—and statistical analytics confirm Seattle has enjoyed the strongest homefield advantage in the league since the team moved into CenturyLink Field in 2002. Seahawk fans are known as the 12th Man because their enthusiasm brings as much support to the team as an extra player on the field. Their crowd noise has set world records and actually created measurable seismic events.
While this kind of sports-fueled euphoria can clearly boost a region’s morale, city planners and urban advocates are divided over whether funding fields like CenturyLink is a wise use of resources. Many developers continue to see stadiums as lynchpins for urban revitalization, but leading New Urbanists like Richard Florida claim these projects are nothing but boondoggles. Florida believes the best studies show any economic gains cities garner from having a professional team are eaten up by the tax subsidies that flow to owners.
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