Season 1 Episode 4
On this episode of All Things Grinnell, we talk with more speakers from this year’s Rosenfield Symposium. The Off the Field Symposium explored the inextricable relationship of sports and politics, economics and society. First we talk with Sarah Fields, professor of communication at the University of Colorado in Denver, about the intersection of law, gender, and sports. We discuss impending legislation that could affect the world of sports, including the Kaepernick case, as well as the liability of the NFL pertaining to concussions. Her most recent book, Game Faces, discusses sports celebrities and the laws of reputation. Her other book, Female Gladiators, examines legal and social battles over the right of women to participate with men in contact sports.
Then we talk with Nola Agha, associate professor of sport management at the University of San Francisco, about the impact of public stadium subsidies. Time and again, we hear about the benefits of sports stadiums to local economies, and sports teams often rely heavily on public subsidies to build their stadiums. But Agha asks us to reconsider this investment and take a closer look at the benefits of sports stadiums and whether they are a worthwhile public investment. We also talk about other economic elements of sports, including the financial dynamics of mascots and team name changes. Agha has published extensively in journals, including an interesting article in the Journal of Sports Economics about the economic impact of stadiums and teams in minor league baseball. We also discussed some crazy and funny minor league team names on this episode.