The ranking below is from the just-released, latest Census of Governments report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Steve Owens, who oversees special district tabulations at the Census Bureau, tells GPN: "You'll notice some changes in the rankings, compared to the previous data, from the 2007 Census. The Census of Governments is done every 5 years. The top two parks districts provide a good example of how capital expenditures can really have an effect on year to year totals. In 2007, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority had a very large capital project in progress. In 2012 the Chicago Park District had a similar situation."

Top 10 Parks Districts in Expenditures from latest Census of Governments
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT                                                                                 IL
METROPOLITAN PIER AND EXPOSITION AUTHORITY (CHICAGO)   IL
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT                                                         CA
CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT                                       OH
METROPOLITAN ZOOLOGICAL PARK AND MUSEUM DISTRICT      MO
SPORTS & EXHIB. AUTHORITY OF PITTSBURGH-ALLEGHENY        PA
TACOMA METROPOLITAN PARK DISTRICT                                             WA
THREE RIVERS PARK DISTRICT                                                                  MN
EAST BATON ROUGE RECREATION AND PARK COMMISSION         LA

Source: latest (2012) Census of Governments report. Go here for more information.

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