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
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Conclusion

We conclude this book by stating the significant findings for relocation and expansion of professional teams in baseball, football, and basketball. Our analysis underscores when, where, and why big-league teams relocated, and professional leagues expanded during the past fifty years. We also predict which teams will relocate after 1999.

Chapters One and Three revealed reasons for relocating four NL and six AL baseball teams. We found that five clubs moved in the 1950s, four in the 1960s, and one in the 1970s. Chapter Five used team performance, home attendance, and estimated market value as measures of success. These measures indicate that during the 1990s three relocated MLB teams ranked superior, three teams ranked average, and two teams ranked inferior. As a result, in the long run there is a greater probability that a relocated MLB team will rank either superior or average instead of inferior following a move. Of the three sports analyzed, baseball's team owners realized the most success in deciding to move their teams and choosing profitable sites.

After relocation the mean performance and home attendance of the relocated MLB teams tended to either remain constant or improve at the post-move sites. So not only did MLB owners relocate their teams to areas that proved demographically similar, but their teams achieved comparable performances and attendance at the post-move sites. The metropolitan areas of these sites had smaller populations and fewer professional sports teams than the areas of departure. We discovered that NL teams moved to areas where the average per capita personal income exceeded that of the AL relocated teams.

Between 1987 and 1992 the average performance and home attendance of relocated MLB teams rose, then fell from 1993 to 1996. Despite the decrease in performance and attendance, however, the estimated market value of most relocated teams increased between 1987 and 1996. Given these changes in perform

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