IntroductionThe Program for Public Policy in Sports' (PPPS) purpose for compiling these sport business book reviews is to provide civic leaders, city planners, sports business leaders, and citizens with a quick overview look at books relating to stadium construction, use of tax funds for sports enterprises, government involvemnet in sports, and other areas where sports are "big" business. These books comprise a beginning sports business library housed in the Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: These reviews compiled by Dr. Ron Hyatt. See disclaimer on front page.
Rosentraub, Mark. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying For It. BasicBooks, New York City, 1997.
This book will not be welcomed by team owners who wish to build extensive and expensive sports arenas using tax dollars. This readable book examines in detail and documents how new stadiums and arenas are built with public monies. It goes on to document how, after completion of the sport revenue with a significant positive cash-flow, the cities or municipalities often do not share in these profits. Descriptions are given where teams have threatened to leave cities unless new stadiums are built for their use. The author points out how and why these cities are often held as hostages to these team owners. In most cases, the teams are owned by corporations rather than individuals. The book is a must read for sports business management students and for civic leaders. It is a well-written book, carefully researched, and it provides excellent detailed information.
Danielson, Michael. Home Team: Professional Sports and the American Metropolis. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1997.
This book examines the relationships between the four major professional team sports - baseball, football, basketball, and hockey - and the cities in which they are played. The political aspects between professional sports teams and their cities, who compete for franchises, leagues, and teams, is examined in detail. Attempts by state, city, and national governments to secure teams in a changing economic environment, both within the teams or sports and the cities, is fascinating reading. Both Canadian and United States' efforts are covered and analyzed in this theoretical and real life book. This book is essential for public policy decision-makers in sports businesses at the city, state, and national levels.
Sheehan, Richard G. Keeping Score: The Economics of Big-Time Sports. Diamond Communications, South Bend, Indiana, 1996.
This textbook, on the economics of big-time sports, is both a loving critic and an unloving critic's analysis of the impacts of big-time sports on the economies of selected citites. The major professional team sports are covered with comments on strikes, lock-outs, and salary caps. There is a publication error in the front of the book, which does not detract from its information or major themes. This information-providing book is vital and a must read for civic leaders and public policy planners.
Fort, Rodney and James Quirk. Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1992.
The business of professional team sports receives careful consideration in this well-done book. Historical traces of different franchises and operating incomes are provided in the major professional sports. The increase in franchise prices, the cost of doing business in sports, and the value of tax benefits from owning professional teams are also covered. This book explains the effects of salary concerns, sweetheart deals for stadiums, and why money is being made in sport, often at the expense of the fans and citizens. This book is balanced, well researched, and merits reading.
Scully, Gerald W. The Market Structure of Sports. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1995.
This excellent book examines the economics of sports leagues, the market for sport franchises, the players market, and the coaches market in professional sports. This book is more scholarly in nature than some of the previously mentioned sports books and uses statistics with a variety of formulas to make its points. This scholarly endeavor is written by a professor of economics at the University of Texas and is a detailed economic assessment of the current business of major league sports and their future prospects. With its theoretical approach and statistical analysis, this book is slanted more towards the sports management professional, and worthy of being in a sports economic library.
Baim, Dean V. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn. 1994
This is a must-read and must have book for any city or county in the decision making process about possibly constructing a stadium. Bain examines the historical background of subsidies to professional teams and sports arenas. He reviews over twenty case studies of arena/stadium construction. His conclusions are as follows:
Shropshire, Kenneth L. The Sports Franchise Game, Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1995.
This text covers the challenges of major cities across the United States
to play the "sports franchise game." The book is slightly
arenas, stating that we can no longer afford to pay any price for a
professional sports franchise. The former mayor of Washington DC, Sharon
Pratt Kelly, points out the dilemma faced by mayors of major cities. If
the demands of the owners for a new facility or arena is met then the
teams will stay where they are. However, if their demands are not met,
then the owners move the franchise. So the mayors, city councils, and
other governing bodies must study with great care the financial impacts
and implications related to securing a franchise. There are several key
parties in the sports franchise business and each one seeks to serve its
self interest. The owners, athletes, competing cities, politicians, and
tax-payers all have a vote.
Cagan, Joanna and Neil DeMause. Field of Schemes. How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, Monroe, ME, 1998.
This book offers its bias in its title and lives up to it quite well. The authors note that "between 1980 and 1990, US cities spent some $1.5 billion on building or renovating sports arenas and stadiums and will spend more than $11 billion in the 90's." The authors note that sports teams have become increasingly valuable as investments, and indeed they increase their investment by moving to a new city or threatening the present city with their exit. Case studies of Chicago, San Francisco, and other areas are cited. The Minneapolis study of baseball and the Metrodome is covered in detail. The authors offer few guidelines and solutions to the problem, but they do address the problem.
Noll, Roger G., Ed. Government and the Sports Business. The Brookings Institute, Washington DC, 1974.
This book is one of the earliest books to address government and the sports business. It gives an overview of expenditures and the relationships of government to sports business. This book deals with topics such as taxation and sports enterprises, the economic theory of professional sports leagues, and federal anti-trust laws. It is a classic in the field and permits readers to review more than twenty years of the sports business.