Theses Bachelor's

If you build it, they will come? A study of economic development and ballparks in Chicago

Caminer, Elena

There is more to ballparks than the hot dogs sold or the games played inside of them. Scholars argue that although local governments invest in new stadiums as tools of economic revitalization, the intended benefits often fall short. These scholars, however, analyze ballparks at a regional level. By taking a wide scope they overlook smaller scale results and impacts at the neighborhood level. Wrigleyville, the Chicago neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field home of the Chicago Cubs, contrasts sharply with Armour Square, the neighborhood surrounding Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly US Cellular and Comiskey Park) home of the Chicago White Sox. While both neighborhoods contain a Major League Baseball field, Wrigleyville is a thriving community and commercial center, whereas Armour Square, is still struggling from its industrial past and is divided across racial and ethnic lines. Using Wrigleyville and Armour Square as case studies for the relationship between economic development and ballparks, this paper considers the extent to which these ballparks stimulate economic development and affect city initiatives. For ballparks to have a net-positive impact on neighborhood economic development, the community must view the ballpark as an asset. Further, private investment by the ballpark owners is the key to creating a thriving neighborhood surrounding the ballpark.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Studies (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
Rocco, Mary F.
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
September 10, 2018