Among urban policy analysts, politicians, and investigative journalists, there is great concern about the viability of developing new convention centers in an attempt to "prime the pump" of an urban region. For the most part, the prevailing wisdom seems to indicate that persons coming to large conventions in a city will spend millions of dollars when they are in town, and that cities will benefit greatly from such inward investment. This paper, authored by Heywood Sanders for The Brookings Institution, takes on much of this conventional wisdom in its 36 pages. Released in January 2005, the report finds that the overall convention marketplace continues to decline, and despite this fact, numerous localities continue a type of "arms race" in order to those these events. The paper is well written, and should be of interest to those persons in the fields of economic development, and the future of cities, more generally.
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