The I-95 Series and What it Means to Cities

This morning New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced a World Series Wager — the mayor of the city with the losing team has to do community service in the other mayor’s city. Just the latest way the World Series impacts city life.

There’s some serious Phillies pride in the city. Everywhere you go, there’s people wearing their red jerseys. Store windows have posters of Phillies’ encouragement. Even construction sites have some kind of Phillies-related memorabilia on them. We know what the team means to the city — just about everything at this point. But what does it do for it?

Cupcakes I spotted at Reading Terminal Market.

Last year, when the Phillies won the World Series, the city paid $700,000 for a parade down Broad Street. (Corporate sponsors paid another $300,000.) Nutter said that the expense was worth it and that the city reaps $1.5 million in tax revenues from hosting the World Series. But just a few weeks later, the mayor was in a contentious debate about closing libraries, saying the city couldn’t afford to keep them open.

Money isn’t isn’t the issue — I mean, could the Phillies have won the World Series and not had a parade? No, not having a parade wasn’t an option. It’s an understatement to say that the Phillies bring an intangible amount of interest and excitement to the city. Last year, amid much of the talk about the World Series was analysis of the Philadelphia psyche — how fans “had to believe” but in many ways kept their expectations in check. This year there’s confidence, a secular faith in the team, less a sense of superstition. You couldn’t even call the Phillies underdogs any more.

Mayors Bloomberg and Nutter face off on Good Morning America.
But does a winning team translate to a winning city? When the Phillies clinched the pennant, the New York Times wrote about Philadelphia first before they got to Jimmy Rollins: “The paradigm has shifted. A city haunted by failure revels in glory.”

We are reveling, but are we glorious yet?

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

Follow Diana

Tags: philadelphia

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 924 other sustainers such as:

  • Anonymous in Cambridge, MA at $5/Month
  • Molly at $5/Month
  • Beatriz at $10/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Solutions of the year 2022

    Donate $20 or $5/Month

    2022-2023 Solutions of the Year magazine

  • Brave New Home

    Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind