I though this article from The Frederick Gazette was really interesting. It explains the whys and hows of the largest city city run amenities: Clustered Spires Golf Course, the Weinberg Center for the Arts and Harry Grove Stadium. For example, why would the city run a Golf Course:
The anticipation is that at some point, Clustered Spires will turn into a cash cow, helping subsidize the Parks and Recreation budget.
“We’re looking at turning a half million to three-quarter million dollar profit within six years after the course pays the city back the $3.5 million,” said Roelkey Myers, deputy director of Parks and Recreation. “The golf course could subsidize the parks or the city could choose to invest that money.”
A good read.