Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Health and Sport Sciences

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Greenwell, T. Chris

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hambrick, Marion

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Committee Member

Moorman, Anita

Author's Keywords

professional sport stadium; voter perceptions; non-economic benefits; economic benefits; stakeholder influence; San Diego


Professional sport stadium subsidization is abundant across the United States, where the voting public is sometimes provided the opportunity to approve the measures through referendum. Many of these referendums are approved by the voters (Kellison & Mondello, 2014; Mondello & Anderson, 2004), despite research stating professional sport stadiums bring little to no economic benefit to a municipality (Baade, 1994, 1996; Baade & Dye, 1988a, 1990; Baade et al., 2008; Coates & Humphreys, 1999, 2002; Euchner, 1993; Zipp, 1996). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand what factors may influence a constituent’s willingness to support a professional sport stadium referendum. Research has suggested economic benefits such as local economic growth (Santo, 2007), noneconomic benefits such as increased quality of life and civic pride (Castellanos et al., 2011; Fenn & Crooker, 2009; Johnson & Whitehead, 2000; Johnson et al., 2001; Santo, 2007), stakeholder influence (Friedman & Mason, 2004, 2005), and team identification (Depken, 2000) may influence a constituent’s support when faced with a stadium construction projects. The current study examined how voter perceptions of these areas may influence their willingness to support a stadium project. The city of San Diego, California and the 2016 NFL Chargers stadium proposal served as the case study. Ultimately, 182 participants completed the survey. Structural equation modeling was utilized to examine the relationship between the factors. Good model fit was obtained through a number of theoretically acceptable respecifications for both the measurement model and structural model. Results from the structural model supported hypothesis 1 (b = 0.22, p < .001) and hypothesis 4 (b = 0.60, p < .001). A separate mediation analysis utilizing the phantom model approach (macho & Ledermann, 2011) and bootstrapping found no mediating relationship, failing to support hypotheses 6-9. It was ultimately found that voters value the perceived economic benefits associated with the potential professional sport stadium project. Voters’ perceptions of community leaders associated with the project also influenced their willingness to support the stadium project. Team identification and perceptions surrounding noneconomic benefits had no effect on their willingness to support the stadium project.