Since the beginning of the twentieth century, sports have assumed a growing role in American culture. 1 From the comfort of their homes, millions of people watch and listen to daily broadcasts of games and their results, player interviews, as well as various other sports events. Others enjoy weekly games at ballparks, courts, and arenas located in cities, towns, and suburbs across North America. Annual conference, division, and league championships increasingly dominate televised news programs, crowding out political debates, announcements of giant corporate mergers, and international crises. Concurrently, sports controversies have captured the headlines in our major newspapers and magazines. In a more recent trend, fans have fervently discussed an array of sports topics on talk radio and prime-time television programs. Besides addressing disputes between players and management over salaries and other matters, this discourse frequently focuses on the use of taxpayer moneys to finance the construction of new, multimillion-dollar sports facilities. Even minute changes in the operation and ownership of teams receive top billing in the press. Small wonder then, that reporters, analysts, and scholars contribute to the popularity of sports and stimulate the public's seemingly insatiable appetite for information concerning the conduct and decisions of athletes, team owners, and league officials.
Mindful of the above, we wrote this book primarily for sports fans and enthusiasts ranging from players and owners, to professors and undergraduates majoring in sports management, to politicians who advocate further regulation of the sports industry. The book provides an historical account of two phenomena. The first is the relocation of professional sports franchises. The second is the expansion of professional leagues in baseball, football, and basketball. While numerous articles and books deal with these topics, no work focuses exclusively on the dynamics of why, where, and to what extent professional teams have moved or how leagues have expanded during the second half of the twen-