The Suburbs Are a Great Place for a Football Stadium

A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 8 2012 8:08 AM

The Suburbs Are a Great Place for a Football Stadium

138506012
Eli Manning of the New York Giants speaks to fans as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie looks on at a rally to celebrate the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Photograph by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images.

Any time the Giants win a Super Bowl and earn themselves a parade through Manhattan, as happened yesterday, some commentary about the fact that they actually play in New Jersey arises. Meanwhile in D.C. at least one city councilman won't give up on the dream of bringing the Redskins back to the city away from their home in Landover, Md.

But sentimental issues aside there's a very good reasons not to locate a professional football team in a major city center—the NFL season doesn't involve very many games. Over nine days out of 10, an NFL stadium is just a big empty space surrounded by parking facilities that are also empty. There's nothing wrong with building structures like that. Space is very plentiful in the United States of America. But space is not plentiful in New York City or in the District of Columbia. A building that's only really in use a dozen times a year needs to be put someplace where space isn't scarce, someplace like East Rutherford or Landover. A baseball stadium with over 80 games or a dual use NBA/NHL arena that also houses some WNBA or Arena Football and the occasional concert or circus is a very different story. Indeed from an urban economics point of view this whole problem was solved back in the 1960s when we were building combination football/baseball stadiums. But teams and fans don't like those, and the consequence is that football teams get pushed into peripheral areas.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Mad About Modi


Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.


Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.