The Sports Franchise Game: Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas

The Sports Franchise Game: Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas

The Sports Franchise Game: Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas

The Sports Franchise Game: Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas

Synopsis

Focusing on the issue of franchise relocation, The Sports Franchise Game portrays a complex web of motivations, negotiations, financing, and public relations. Shropshire's in-depth analysis reveals how owners manipulate the franchise system to minimize their risks and maximize their profits. As cities heat up the bidding wars to win or keep a major league team, franchise owners benefit by moving their sports teams from one locale to another, or by simply threatening to make such a move. In its meticulous detail and informed analysis, The Sports Franchise Game provides a startling and memorable study of the business aspects of our national pastimes. The book will be of particular interest to policymakers, sports management professionals, and students of law and management.

Excerpt

The movement of teams in professional sports is often referred to as the "sports franchise game." To mayors of major cities across the country, the efforts to keep or obtain a professional sports franchise is no game. The District of Columbia at various times has been involved in two major sports-related struggles -- to keep the Redskins playing within the District and to keep alert to the possibility of obtaining a baseball franchise to replace the twice-departed Senators.

What we are keenly aware of, and what Professor Shropshire addresses in this book, is that a professional sports franchise is no longer the financial panacea for what ails a city. We can no longer pay any price to call a professional sports franchise our own because an often extraordinarily high price is what the owners of America's sports franchises are demanding. If we do not pay the price they demand, they tell us they will move to the suburbs or to another city.

The unpopular decision not to give in to the tremendous demands of some owners of sports franchises is the type of difficult decision that I had to grapple with during my tenure as mayor of Washington, D. C. Our cities today are confronted with a myriad of problems and have only limited financial resources to allocate. Our priorities must be readjusted.

This concise book causes the reader to take a step back and to reconsider sport-related expenditures. It also raises the issue of the social obligation that some owners may find that they have for America's inner cities.

The mayors of American cities are confronted with a prisoner's dilemma of sorts. If no mayor succumbs to the demands of a franchise shopping for a new home then the teams will stay where they are. This, however, is unlikely to happen because if Mayor A is not willing to pay the price, Mayor B may think it is advantageous to open up the city's wallet. Then to protect his or her interest, Mayor A often ends up paying the demanded price.

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