When the hometown high school football team wins big, so do homeowners. A study of more than half a million single-family home sales in upstate New York between 2000 and 2009 finds that in places where the local Friday Night Lights squad won its first state football championship, property values increased by 1.65 percent over the following year.
Writing in the Journal of Housing Economics, Andrew Friedson of the University of Colorado-Denver speculates the spike may be due to a "local pride effect," most pronounced when the team plays in the highly competitive AA division, which is limited to schools with 1,000 students or more. The impact was strongest in the first three months following a championship victory, after which it gradually dissipated. Think of it as sweat equity—with someone else doing the sweating.