Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports / Edition 1

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Overview

"Blending illuminating (and entertaining) anecdotes with economic analysis, James Quirk leads readers through the increasingly complex labyrinth of a significant industry--professional sports. Along the way he slays the notion that economics is the 'dismal science.' He demonstrates that decisions made in the executive offices of sports franchises can be as fascinating as, and can influence, what happens in the games. All Americans are involved in the sports business as ticketbuyers, taxpayers, and participants in the culture that shapes and is shaped by professional sports. So there should be a wide readership for this intelligent guide to reading newspapers' sports pages, which increasingly resemble business pages."--George Will

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Editorial Reviews

The Sporting News - Steve Gietschier
Call this volume The Wealth of Nations of professional sports. Unrivaled in scope, the [book] should stand for quite some time as the basic work from which all descendants will spring.
Journal of Political Economy - Gerald Scully
The book is written in a reader-friendly fashion, is chock-full of anecdotes, is conceptually sound, and is bulging with useful data. Pay Dirt is a solid scholarly contribution to the literature on the economics of sports.
From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1993

"Call this volume The Wealth of Nations of professional sports. Unrivaled in scope, the [book] should stand for quite some time as the basic work from which all descendants will spring."--Steve Gietschier, The Sporting News

"The book is written in a reader-friendly fashion, is chock-full of anecdotes, is conceptually sound, and is bulging with useful data. Pay Dirt is a solid scholarly contribution to the literature on the economics of sports."--Gerald Scully, Journal of Political Economy

Journal of Political Economy
The book is written in a reader-friendly fashion, is chock-full of anecdotes, is conceptually sound, and is bulging with useful data. Pay Dirt is a solid scholarly contribution to the literature on the economics of sports.
— Gerald Scully
The Sporting News
Call this volume The Wealth of Nations of professional sports. Unrivaled in scope, the [book] should stand for quite some time as the basic work from which all descendants will spring.
— Steve Gietschier
The Sporting News
Call this volume The Wealth of Nations of professional sports. Unrivaled in scope, the [book] should stand for quite some time as the basic work from which all descendants will spring.
— Steve Gietschier
Journal of Political Economy
The book is written in a reader-friendly fashion, is chock-full of anecdotes, is conceptually sound, and is bulging with useful data. Pay Dirt is a solid scholarly contribution to the literature on the economics of sports.
— Gerald Scully
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Books examining the financial aspects of American sports have proliferated recently, but none offers the range and depth of this first volume in a projected two-volume study. Quirk, a retired economics professor at Cal Tech, and Fort, an associate professor of economics at Washington State University, cover professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey in their definitive study. They examine the prices and values of sports franchises; the tax shelters developed by owners; the real and imaginary worth of stadiums and arenas, both publicly and privately owned; the reserve clause, designed to limit players' mobility; the increasing inequity of players' salaries; the attempts to secure and retain competitive balance in various leagues with a view to the maximization of profits; and the establishment of rival leagues (``a very risky business''). In every chapter the authors document their arguments with copious statistics. General readers may find the text more technical than they would like, but this is certainly important reading for anyone engaged in sports at any level. Illustrations. (Dec.)
Library Journal
News headlines within the past few months have begun to resemble a ``Who's on first?'' routine. The commissioners of both major league baseball and the National Hockey League have been forced to resign, the free agency issue has erupted in the National Football League, and a baseball team may leave one Bay Area for another. The authors have combined factual and entertaining anecdotes with economics for an in-depth analysis of the business side of professional sports, past and present. Ranging from an era of risky investments undertaken by team owners before television to the escalating mega-million-dollar franchise costs and player salaries of the 1990s, Pay Dirt scores big with the story behind the complex entrepreneurial side of team sports. Valuable for its historical material and its insight into sports as big business, this book will be a plus for any collection serving sports fans.-- Albert Spencer, Coll. of Education, Univ. of Nevada-Las Vegas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691015743
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/1997
  • Edition description: UPDATED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 The Market for Sports Franchises 23
Ch. 3 Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes 88
Ch. 4 Stadiums and Arenas 125
Ch. 5 The Reserve Clause and Antitrust Laws 179
Ch. 6 Why Do Pro Athletes Make So Much Money? 209
Ch. 7 Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues 240
Ch. 8 Rival Leagues and League Expansion: Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey 294
Ch. 9 Rival Leagues: The Great Football Wars 333
Postscript 363
Appendix to Chapter 3 366
Appendix to Chapter 6 369
Appendix to Chapter 8 374
Data Supplement 377
Ownership Histories 378
Attendance Records 479
Radio and Television Income 505
Bibliography 513
Index of Names 531
Index of Court Cases 538
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