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Sports Industry: A Research Guide

Building & Managing Sports Venues

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Camden Yards. Baltimore, Maryland, May 11, 2006. Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Planning and building of a stadium is a long process and an important local interest story, so it will be important to look a local newspapers, business magazine, and other news sources, particularly if you are interested in specific projects. For an example of local interest material that can be found, see the bibliography Financing Professional Sports Facilities External which is a list of materials compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library for Minnesota legislators. Just as important is the planning material produced by local and state government agencies. If they aren't available electronically, looking for news stories may also be a way to find out more details about the project and what people were saying about it. One way to ferret out information is to know, and search on, the team names and the stadium names.

Public financing of sports stadiums often inspires much heated discussion, and each project will involve issues specific to that situation. This section is devoted to just some of the more general and academic material related to this topic. To go beyond the more general or academic discussions, it may be helpful to look at specific situations that may provide additional information that may be important.

One component of venue management is concessions. For the major sports leagues it can be big money. Different sports have different cultures around food, but traditionally food and beverages sold in venues has been very expensive and been run according to the concessions contracts the teams have signed with a vendor. In 2017 the Atlanta Falcons changed how their concessions were provided and significantly lowered prices. Other teams and leagues took notice, but change has been slow. The 2020 pandemic had a major impact on all sports. Many games had few if any in attendance and changes in concessions were made. In the NFL where fans were in-house, many teams eliminated or cut back food and beverage service and moved to contactless or cashless models. The pandemic may just have sped up changes that were already on the horizon.

Venue management has become increasingly specialized; and like more general sports programs offered by GWU's Master of Science in Sport Management, schools such as Georgetown University have developed concentrated tracts in Sports Venue Management as part of their overall Master's in Sports Industry Management.

Books & Articles

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

Internet Articles & Journals

Searching the Online Catalog

Additional works on the business of football in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. For assistance in locating the many other subject headings which relate to football as a business, please consult a reference librarian.