Do You Still Have Favorite Sports Team?

By | February 2, 2017

publicly funded sports stadiums

Are you still a sports fan or have you become nothing more than a statistics watcher playing fantasy sports?

The truth of the matter is that the undying loyalty of fans to a specific team has been diluted over the years because of a couple of significant factors…

  1. The first issue is that we now live in an age of declining team loyalty to fans as the lure of bigger and better stadiums that will lead to an increased bottomline for the team owner is typically the primary consideration for management. A recent case in point is the San Diego Chargers move to become the Los Angeles Charges in return for a shiny new state-of-the-art stadium.
  2.  The second reason for decreased fan loyalty seems to be the meteoric rise in the popularity of fantasy sports. Fans are now more interested in a team comprised of players from all teams rather than in the performance of one true team. As anecdotal proof look to the popularity of television stations like NFL RedZone and websites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

HOW STADIUM DEVELOPMENT IS KILLING LOYALTY IN AMERICAN SPORTS

Pandemonium will ensue inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. As the opening kickoff between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons sails through the air, 75,000 fans will be blinded by flashbulbs and deafened by their collective roar.

But 1,500 miles away in San Diego, Qualcomm Stadium will be as silent as a graveyard, not just because the Chargers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, but because the team will never play in the city again. The abandoned stadium stands as a solemn symbol of an NFL franchise system that exploits American cities and tosses away fans.

“The institutions create a system that is designed to minimize competition. That benefits the owners and the established league, but it harms fans and people who own lesser teams or want to own teams,” said Roger Noll, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

“The NFL has strategically excluded many potentially profitable mid-markets in order to create a monopoly among the many frustrated applicants,” according to Vanderbilt sports economist John Vrooman. The threat of relocation maximizes public subsidies despite a lack of economic justification.

The league franchise system is a monopoly of billionaire team owners. It establishes territorial rights, and new teams enter the competition only by a vote of current members. Most other nations operate their sport leagues with a promotion and relegation system that allows teams to enter competition through the quality of their play and inspires strong, generations-long fan loyalty.

The difference in league management style is at the core of professional teams relocating and the use of public funds for stadiums. With little competition and plenty of leverage, the NFL is putting the squeeze on fans, cities and states…

Read the rest of the article at Bisnow here.
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