American Sports Empire: How the Leagues Breed Success

American Sports Empire: How the Leagues Breed Success

American Sports Empire: How the Leagues Breed Success

American Sports Empire: How the Leagues Breed Success

Synopsis

"Sports fanatics, casual fans, professional coaches and players, journalists, economists, administrators, and owners will discover a goldmine of information in this volume. Readers will learn about key owners, investors, coaches, managers, and players of teams that won divisions, conference titles, and league championships from the 1950s through the 1990s. The book includes information on attendance, operating incomes, payrolls, win-loss percentages, and the estimated market value of individual teams. Specific franchise owners are noted for their wealth and success factors. The author also predicts that league commissioners, franchise owners, local business and community leaders, and government officials will be forced to bargain in good faith and compromise on the question of whether to use tax-payer money to invest in sports facilities." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Most fans become infatuated with and entertained by professional team sports at an early age. Generally this experience occurs for kids when professional games are broadcast on cable and television networks or when a child accompanies his parents on game day to a ballpark for minor or major league baseball, an arena for basketball, a stadium for football or an ice rink for hockey. For me, this kinship with and addiction to professional sports began when my father drove us each year from Terre Haute, Indiana, to St. Louis, Missouri, to root for the baseball Cardinals. After the game ended, time was devoted to seek the autograph of the team's star and my favorite player, Stan [The Man] Musial. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was fun to record game statistics and cheer when great ballplayers such as the Brooklyn Dodgers' Roy Campanella and the New York Giants' Willie Mays competed against Musial and his teammates in a doubleheader at Sportsman Park—renamed Busch Stadium—on a hot Saturday afternoon in July.

After an early initiation to big-time sports, the dream of some teenagers and young adults is to diligently practice and eventually become a player for a professional team. Even though the probability of joining the Cincinnati Reds, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bears or New York Rangers is infinitesimal, a skilled athlete normally participates on elementary, middle and high school teams to earn a college scholarship or attract the attention of a professional scout. After moderate success as a catcher/pitcher from Little League through college, it was my ambition to play professional baseball. Because of injuries and other factors besides luck, this opportunity faded. Nevertheless, when my career switched to academics, professional team sports became a challenge to research and study from a business and economic perspective.

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