Sports Economics The Impact of Sports on the Economics of a Community

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Sports revenues and player fees have tremendously skyrocketed with the likes of David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Ronaldhino and Roger Federer raking in more than 30 million dollars each in 2007 alone according to Forbes. (Badenhausen 2007) This is not surprising because the popularity of spectator sports has been steadily soaring particularly in the early 1990s. During this time, attendance is up 85 percent in baseball, 130 percent in basketball, and 40 percent in football and hockey with many clubs continually selling out as the value of broadcast rights have grown even faster than attendance: a fourteenfold increase in baseball, a sixteenfold increase in football, and a seventeenfold increase in basketball since the mid-1970s. (Scully 1995, p. 3)

Academic interest in the economics of sports, particularly team sports, has been significant since the mid-1950s. Starting these times, a body of literature consisted of many books and journal articles has thoroughly examined the subject. Besides the commercial book publishers, several major university publishing outfits are bringing out scholarly works, often in special series on sports that include the economic side. Although no journal is focused exclusively on the sports business, many publications accommodate the subject. Among these are Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, Labor Law, American Economic Review, and so on. Much of this academic literature originated in the USA.

The period of time and the popularity of the subject produced increasingly sophisticated research on the economics of sports, both theoretically and in its use of econometric methodology, especially in recent times. We often read papers about the economics of sports in many economic journals and that these pieces would make anybody agree, particularly economists themselves, those professional sports, in the context of its social, cultural and economic importance, is a legitimate area of scholarly interest for both theoretical and empirical researchers.