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Pay Dirt:
The Business of Professional Team Sports
James Quirk & Rodney D. Fort
With an update by the authors

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1993

Paperback | 1997 | $62.50 | £52.95 | ISBN: 9780691015743
576 pp. | 7 3/4 x 10 | 20 halftones 37 line illus. 90 tables
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Why would a Japanese millionaire want to buy the Seattle Mariners baseball team, when he has admitted that he has never played in or even seen a baseball game? Cash is the answer: major league baseball, like professional football, basketball, and hockey, is now big business with the potential to bring millions of dollars in profits to owners. Not very long ago, however, buying a sports franchise was a hazardous investment risked only by die-hard fans wealthy enough to lose parts of fortunes made in other businesses. What forces have changed team ownership from sports-fan folly to big-business savvy? Why has The Wall Street Journal become popular reading in pro sports locker rooms? And why are sports pages now dominated by economic clashes between owners and players, cities with franchises and cities without them, leagues and players' unions, and team lawyers and players' lawyers? In answering these questions, James Quirk and Rodney Fort have written the most complete book on the business and economics of professional sports, past and present.

Pay Dirt offers a wealth of information and analysis on the reserve clause, salary determination, competitive balance in sports leagues, the market for franchises, tax sheltering, arenas and stadiums, and rival leagues. The authors present an abundance of historical material, much of it new, including team ownership histories and data on attendance, TV revenue, stadium and arena contracts, and revenues and costs. League histories, team statistics, stories about players and owners, and sports lore of all kinds embellish the work. Quirk and Fort are writing for anyone interested in sports in the 1990s: players, players' agents, general managers, sportswriters, and, most of all, sports fans.


"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


"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

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
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

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by James Quirk:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Rodney D. Fort:

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Hardcover published in 1992

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 Paperback  £52.95 ISBN: 9780691015743

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File created: 7/11/2017

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