The Economic History of Major League Baseball

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Baseball is considered America's pastime as it is steeped in history and prestige. However, due in part to the emergence of alternative sporting events such as skateboarding, snowboarding and competitive biking, the profits previously garnered within the industry are not growing as fast as they once where. In fact, in many instances, individual player salaries are outpacing the growth of ticket and television revenue. Table 1 within the appendix was constructed by Michael J. Haupert, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. The table depicts TV revenue (excluding local markets), average ticket price, and average player salary from 1964 to 2002. For your convenience the pertinent information is highlighted in yellow. As depicted from the chart, total television revenue from 1964 to 2002 increased nearly 1000% on an inflation adjusted basis. During this same period however, player salaries have increase by over 2500%. Likewise, average ticket prices have not increased by this magnitude either (Haupert, 2010). Futhermore, according to the Forbes, every team in baseball with the exception of one (The Florida Marlins) spent at least 80% of their revenue on baseball operations last year. These operations include player salaries as well. The percentages vary and ranged from the Detroit Tigers who spent 116% of their revenue (operated at a loss), to the Marlins who spent 68%. Seventeen teams spent 90% or more on baseball operating expenses (Pasnanski, 2010). To many individuals,
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