Relocating Teams and Expanding Leagues in Professional Sports: How the Major Leagues Respond to Market Conditions

By Frank P. Jozsa Jr.; John J. GuthrieJr. | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Professional Teams Ranked by Sport

In the business of sports, successful teams create and sustain an illusion so potent and so deeply ingrained in the minds of many fans that after a certain point the attachment of fans becomes somewhat involuntary. Franchises keep this illusion of importance alive for long periods of time by outclassing their opponents in games the ballpark's appeal both deserve a share of the credit. That partially explains why in recent years cities have been quick to finance and build new, expensive sports complexes. 1

According to boosters, such facilities attract capacity crowds to home games and consequently help stimulate the local economy. For example, in Baltimore and Cleveland civic leaders claim that their new baseball stadiums have helped eradicate shaky national reputations while contributing to a revival of their downtown business districts. Likewise in Denver, Coors Field opened during an economic expansion and thus helped anchor a prospering entertainment district that only a decade earlier had encompassed the city's skid row. In Phoenix, an expansion club playing in a brand new MLB ballpark has drawn hordes of fans from the outlying suburbs. While team owners have reaped windfalls in on the new ballparks, the cities with the new facilities have realized small, if any, returns on their investments. Conceding that point, such municipalities insist that other, less tangible motives prompted them to build the new sports parks. Denver hoped to shed its image as a cowtown. Baltimore and Cleveland wanted to add luster to their tarnished civic reputations. And, Phoenix wanted to enter the ranks of major league cities. So new multimillion dollar sports facilities enable cities to cast an image, shape a perception, or create an illusion by which they compare themselves to their rivals. 2

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Relocating Teams and Expanding Leagues in Professional Sports: How the Major Leagues Respond to Market Conditions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 11
  • Chapter 1 - Franchise Relocation, 1950 to 1977 17
  • Chapter 2 - Expansion Teams, 1950 to 1977 43
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter 3 - Franchise Relocation Since 1977 67
  • Notes 96
  • Chapter 4 - Expansion Teams Since 1977 101
  • Notes 130
  • Chapter 5 - Professional Teams Ranked by Sport 135
  • Notes 154
  • Chapter 6 - Alternative Leagues and Sports Facilities 157
  • Notes 169
  • Conclusion 173
  • Notes 180
  • Selected Bibliography 183
  • Index 203
  • About the Authors *
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