Importing and Exporting Football Fans

Alas, the Eagles will not be following in the Phillies' footsteps, as their run to the Super Bowl has yet again fallen one valiant game short. Of course, no Super Bowl also means no opportunity for a championship-induced economic local stimulus.

Tellingly, as noted in a recent Wall Street Journal article [link courtesy of The Sports Economist, the fact that there are bars full of rabid transplanted football fans all across the country may be a good characteristic for a city's football team but a bad characteristic for a city itself.

The stories in the local paper about diehard transplanted Eagles fans palling it up in Phoenix only reinforces the fact that Philadelphia has bled a ton of people in the last 50 years, and continues to do so. It's the same story in Pittsburgh, which I blogged about the last time they made it to the Super Bowl. When it comes to economic vitality, cities should want to be net importers and not net exporters of football fans.

It may gall locals to hear this, but if we start seeing around these parts a lot of transplanted Cardinals, Buccaneers, and Cowboys fans rooting for their childhood teams, that'll be a good thing for Philadelphia. Because it'll mean we've stemmed our population loss and become a place people from other parts of the country want to live. Even if they root for the enemy.
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