Northern Illinois University Press

It's Hardly Sportin'

Stadiums, Neighborhoods, and the New Chicago

Costas Spirou and Larry Bennett

"Highly recommended.... One of the best books on the subject this reviewer has encountered."—Choice

"This is a useful study of the impact of sport arena construction in urban areas in the United States."—Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

"A provocative, insightful, and carefully researched study of the relationship between stadiums and urban development."—Perspectives on Politics

Across the nation, stadiums and sports centers are a vital aspect of urban redevelopment. How do these projects affect the communities near the new facilities? Focusing on the controversies surrounding three major Chicago projects—the United Center, Comiskey Park, and lighting Wrigley Field—It's Hardly Sportin' suggests fresh ways for cities to coordinate the expansion of sports facilities with neighborhood life.

Shared interest in the home team's triumphs and tragedies can unify a city. But when disputes arise over new and improved sports stadiums, who wins and who loses at the neighborhood level? Using Chicago as a case study, Spirou and Bennett show what happens to neighborhoods when cities use sports as a strategy for revitalization. They argue that stadiums serve as effective tools for urban revitalization only if community organizations and local conditions are closely involved in the planning process. Offering provocative insights into the challenges of contemporary urban economic development, It's Hardly Sportin' calls attention to the crucial role of sports centers in American culture.

(2003) 224 pp., illus.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-305-0
paper $31.50

Costas Spirou is Associate Professor and Chair of Social Science at National-Louis University.

Larry Bennett is Professor of Political Science at DePaul University.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Maps
1. Sports-Driven Urban Redevelopment in Chicago and Beyond
2. From Urban Renewal to the City of Leisure
3. The New Comiskey Park
4. Rebuilding Comiskey Park
5. Bringing Light to Wrigley Field
6. Lake View
7. Redeveloping the Near West Side
8. Stadium Development, Three Neighborhoods, and Urban Revitalization

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-305-0
paper $31.50