Before Coors Field went up in Lower Downtown (LODO) Denver in the early 90's, you could not safely walk in downtown at night. It was like a ghost town. Coors Field awakened the city and brought people downtown again. It is remarkable what the ballpark did for the area. 17 years after opening, it's more popular than ever and the area is bustling with life. It is also very safe to walk around (as many people do to the bars and restaurants and to the games) night and day.
The company I work for was born under the construction of Coors Field and has grown into a franchise since the opening of our first restaurant, so I can speak first hand of the economic benefits of sports complex construction and how they are felt in the following decades.
I really think it helped Denver become what it is today. Of course, more sports complexes have gone up, but that one caused the major shift.
ETA: And from what I've seen of Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field, lol) the same can be said for Houston, although it has been a slower progression.
2011- putting on the baby weight
2012- TAKING OFF THE BABY WEIGHT
Last edited by junebug41; 05-17-2010 at 06:35 PM.