Sports enrich and add diversity to our lives, while professional sports teams and players entertain us. Sports heroes awe our youth. Young fans, for example, swoon over Mark McGwire's towering home runs to left field, Brett Favre's pin-point touchdown passes, or Michael Jordan's slashing drives to the basket for a dunk. Some adults are "sports addicts." They participate in amateur leagues, play scrimmage games in their yard during the half-time of a weekend football game, or compete one-on-one on the basketball court for fun. In the process, sports teaches participants that competition, discipline, sacrifice, and cooperation results in rewards, which prepare them to meet life's challenges.
For half a century we have been dedicated sports fans interested in the accomplishments of professional players, teams, and leagues. During this same period numerous scholars, economists, and historians have studied players, teams, and leagues within professional sports. Their theories and interpretations have established a basis for further research of sports issues from business, economic, historical, political, and legal perspectives. After considering many of the events that have occurred in professional sports since midcentury, specific issues gained our attention. One is the location and success of teams. The other issue concerns the growth of each sport. So, we decided to research these matters further. Our investigation of the movement of professional sports teams from one area to another and the expansion of leagues has resulted in this book.
Written for a wide audience, this book updates and advances much of the scholarship dealing with professional sports. With historical facts to explain when and where professional baseball, football, and basketball teams relocated, and leagues expanded, readers should appreciate and respect the decisions made by owners to earn maximum profits for their teams, which consequently enables sports leagues to survive and prosper.
To measure relocation and expansion between 1950 and 1998, we compiled