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Sport and Public Policy

Sport and Public Policy


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    Sports figures, events, and organizations affect our society in vast, varied, and sometimes unexpected ways. To gain a broad-based understanding of how sport interfaces with public policy issues, a variety of viewpoints must be considered. Sport and Public Policy: Social, Political, and Economic Perspectives is the only text that tackles some of the most compelling connections between the sports world and public policy decisions from a broad interdisciplinary perspective—including economics, history, urban planning, not-for-profit administration, public health, communications, political science, and philosophy. With contributions from a wide range of scholarly disciplines, this contemporary resource enhances traditional conversation and gives readers a fresh outlook on economic and political issues in sport.

    Sport and Public Policy presents a contemporary view of how to understand and analyze complex and controversial topics. It begins by examining issues related to professional sports—including the unique nature of American sports leagues, the decisions and conflicts involved in the organization of sports leagues and events, and labor strikes and conflicts. It then examines professional sports, cities, and public finance. Readers are drawn into thought-provoking discussion of issues such as public investment in sports facilities, the cartel power of American sports leagues, and the contrasting structures that govern international sports like soccer. The book also presents an example of a unique model of not-for-profit community ownership in action, which readers can consider for their own cities.

    Sport and Public Policy explores amateur sports and public health by presenting a fresh perspective on the link between sports and society, the dwindling levels of African-American participation in baseball, and whether or not the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s actions align with its stated principles and values. It also challenges the reader to think globally through a discussion of how sports affect and are affected by international relations, how a changing world economy is affecting the Olympic games, Major League Baseball’s efforts at global expansion, and the effects of global consumer marketing efforts.

    The chapters encourage readers to consider their role, both as participants in sports and as actors who can influence markets and policy decisions through individual choices that affect their communities. To enhance the learning experience, Sport and Public Policy offers the following:

    • An application and implementation section in select chapters helps readers understand how to apply the content in their own roles in the sport industry or society.
    • The case studies added to most chapters illustrate how the information and research are being applied in the real world.
    • Future Trends sections in most chapters describe how sport and policy connections are likely to change over time, and consider changes that can shift the status quo.
    • Some of the hottest topics in the sports world are covered from a public policy perspective, giving readers a new angle from which to analyze issues now and in the future.

    Sport and Public Policy is a timely resource that will be valued by many. Researchers will use it as a springboard for further study of how sport affects our society economically, socially, and politically. Practitioners and anyone else interested in the role of sport in America will find the book creates a critical new awareness of sport’s interface with public policy and the potentially far-reaching implications of their decisions.


    A professional reference for researchers in a variety of sport and non-sport science disciplines including sport management, public policy, sport economics, sport law, sport communications, sport sociology, urban planning, history, and philosophy. A supplemental text for courses in sport and public policy.

    Table of Contents

    Part I. The Structure of Professional Sports

    Chapter 1. Cooperation Amidst Competition: The Nature of Sport Leagues
    Nathaniel Sampson and Gerard C.S. Mildner
    Why League Cooperation Is Necessary
    Downside of Cooperation
    Organized Baseball: Evolution of a Cartel
    Antitrust Law Interpretations and Baseball
    Antitrust and Other Leagues: Are All Sports Equal?
    Effect of Public Policy on the Balance of Power
    Future Trends

    Chapter 2. Beyond the Major Leagues: Lessons from the Organization of International Sports
    Gerard C.S. Mildner
    Organization of Soccer, the World Sport
    Women’s Soccer: The Trial of a Single-Entity League
    Rugby: The Contest over Professionalism, Nations, and Clubs
    Cricket: The Broadcaster’s Leagues
    Lessons for American Sports
    Future Trends

    Chapter 3. Why Professional Athletes Make So Much Money
    Zenon X. Zygmont
    The NHL’s Missing Season
    Wage Determination in Professional Sports
    Free Agency
    Evaluating Player Productivity
    Is it Possible to Pay too Much?
    Future Trends

    Part II. Professional Sports, Cities, and Public Finance

    Chapter 4. The Economic Impact of Sport Stadiums, Teams and Events
    Charles A. Santo
    Public Cost of Big-Time Sports
    Economic Magnitude of Sports in Perspective
    Promoting Sport Investment Through Economic Impact Analysis
    Sources of Exaggeration in Economic Impact Analysis
    Ex Post Facto Empirical Evaluations
    Policy Implications on Predicted Economic Impacts

    Chapter 5. Cities, Stadiums, and Subsidies: Why Cities Spend So Much on Sports
    Charles A. Santo
    Evolution of Major League Sport Facility Development
    Political Economy of Sport Facility Development
    Importance of Consumption Benefits
    Future Trends

    Chapter 6. Community Ownership of Professional Sport Teams and the Role of Social Entrepreneurship
    Dorothy Norris-Tirrell and Susan Tomlinson Schmidt
    Identifying Community Ownership Alternatives
    Using the Nonprofit-Charitable Purpose Structure: The Memphis Redbirds Baseball
    Future Trends

    Part III. Amateur Athletics, Participation, and Public Health

    Chapter 7. Influences of Urban Form on Physical Activity
    Jennifer Dill and Lynn Weigand
    Importance and Decline of Physical Activity in the United States
    How Urban Growth Has Made Us Less Active
    Public Policies to Increase Physical Activity
    Do These Strategies Work?
    Future Trends

    Chapter 8. MLB’s Mixed Messages: African American Participation in Baseball
    David C. Ogden
    Myth and Semiotics
    Analyzing MLB’s Messages
    Moving from Political Speech to Myth
    Challenging Myth
    Policy Implications for Myth Making
    Future Trends

    Chapter 9. Contradictions and Conflicts: Ethical Dilemmas Inherent in Big-Time College Sports
    Richard Southall, Mark S. Nagel, John Amis, and Crystal Southall
    College Sports Today
    National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
    Corporatization in College Sports
    Institutional Logics
    Case Study: 2006 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Broadcasts
    Future Trends

    Chapter 10. Sport, Doping, and Public Policy
    Bryan E. Denham
    Mediated Doping Representations and the Formation of Public Policy
    Sporting Competition and the Formation of Regulatory Bodies
    Media Representations, Government Hearings, and Public Policy in the 21st Century
    Future Trends

    Part IV. Sports and Globalization

    Chapter 11. Political Economy of the Olympic Games
    Gregory Andranovich, Matthew Burbank, and Charles Heying
    Globalization, the New Economy, and Political Economy
    Political Economy and the Olympic Games
    Los Angeles: The Market Matters Most
    Atlanta: The State Matters Most
    Mexico City: Civil Society Matters Most
    Future Trends

    Chapter 12. American Baseball and the Global Labor Market: Resistance and Hegemony in the Caribbean
    Charles A. Santo
    Globalization of American Professional Baseball
    Shared History and Parallel Development of Caribbean Baseball
    Dominican Dependency, Underdevelopment, and Exploitation
    Cuban Nationalism and Resistance
    Movement Along the Spectrum
    Future Trends

    Chapter 13. Expanding Global Consumer Market for American Sports: The World Baseball Classic
    Mark S. Nagel, Matt T. Brown, Dan A. Rascher, and Chad D. McEvoy
    Baseball’s Worldwide Development
    The Consumption of MLB in the United States
    The Creation of the World Baseball Classic
    World Baseball Classic Revenue Sources
    Future Trends

    About the Author

    Charles A. Santo, PhD, is assistant professor of city and regional planning at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. He also serves as coordinator of the Planning Innovations Technology Lab. In addition to having taught courses on sport and public policy, he has published many peer-reviewed articles on the relationship between sport, economic development, and urban public policy. He has been invited to share his research at regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Santo is a member of the Urban Affairs Association. He earned a PhD in urban studies from PortlandStateUniversity.  


    Gerard C. S. Mildner, PhD, has been at PortlandStateUniversity since 1991. Currently he is associate professor of urban studies and planning and director of the Center for Real Estate. Dr. Mildner has written extensively about real estate and location within cities. He is the author of several book chapters, including one on baseball and basketball stadium ownership and franchise incentives to relocate. He is a member of the Urban Affairs Association. He earned his PhD in economics from New YorkUniversity.