2010-04-13T07:36:41.599-04:00Stadium debt, in some cases, hangs around a lot longer than the teams that once played in them. From the Houston Chronicle comes this story that the vacant Astrodome "carries as much as $32 million in debt — nearly as much as the original cost of construction." $32 million may seem like rounding error in an era of $500 million ballparks. Nevertheless, there's a whiff here of the old political trick of shifting benefits towards the present and costs to the future. And not just in Houston:
Olympic Stadium in Montreal was not paid off until two years after the Expos left for Washington, D.C. Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh still was carrying $45 million in debt at the time of its demolition in 2001.The story goes on to note that the current debt stems from renovations made to address relocation threats made by the Oilers and Astros in the 1980s.
Seattle's Kingdome was razed in 2000, and King County is scheduled to finish paying off its debt in five years.
22 years of payments
Public money will be required to cover Astrodome debt payments for 22 more years, according to county financial projections.
The Astrodome's debt stems from the $60 million cost in the late 1980s of adding 10,000 seats, removing the scoreboard and installing 72 luxury boxes. County commissioners approved the project in an effort to persuade Oilers' owner Bud Adams to keep the team in Houston. The team left town after the 1996 season.
When asked if the expansion looked like a bad investment in retrospect, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole replied, “Hell, yeah!” But Eversole, who was not yet on the Court when the spending was approved, also said it has to be looked at in the context of the times, when two teams were threatening to leave town.
“We couldn't not try to keep the Oilers and we couldn't not try to keep the Astros,” Eversole said.
2010-04-07T14:07:03.323-04:00The University of Kansas, like the University of California, is employing equity seat rights to allocate seats to its athletic events. The equity seat rights are a supposed type of mortgage. But unlike a mortgage, buyers don't actually obtain ownership of their seats in perpetuity. HT Wiz of Odds.
2010-03-31T19:27:17.139-04:00Niels Veldhuis and Charles Lammam, responding to political criticism on a study they wrote on Canadian government stimulus attempts, have written an useful piece on why many economists think government spending tends to have a multiplier that is less than one (via fellow TSE blogger John Palmer).
In another 2009 study published in the prestigious American Economic Review, Stanford University professor John Taylor reviewed the evidence over the past decade on fiscal stimulus and concluded “there is little reliable empirical evidence that government spending is a way to end a recession or accelerate a recovery.”Aside from the obvious macroeconomic angle, what's the sports angle here? The article helps explain why sports economists consistently find that stadium construction subsidies fail to generate much, if any, "economic impact" in local markets in terms of metro-area wide employment and income. First, stadium construction tends to crowd out other forms of construction since construction resources can't be working on two separate projects at exactly the same time, indirect evidence for which I found in my 2002 Journal of Urban Affairs article on construction industry employment and wages. Second, spending at sports events that comes from locals crowds out spending on other activities such as dining out and attending movies. Third, sports subsidies are financed with debt instruments and/or taxes. The debt crowds out other types of investment spending while taxes discourage economic activity.
A 2008 study, “What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?” by University of London professor Andrew Mountford and University of Chicago professor Harald Uhlig, assessed and compared the economic impact of various cases of deficit-financed spending, deficit-financed tax cuts and tax-financed spending from 1955 to 2000. They found that spending related measures are the weakest ways to stimulate the economy and that both deficit-financed and tax-financed spending have the effect of discouraging private investment.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which Prime Minister Harper has cited as an authority, recently surveyed fiscal stimulus initiatives in advanced and emerging economies and concluded that the average effect of discretionary fiscal policy “does not provide strong evidence of countercyclical effects.” Simply put, the IMF concluded that fiscal stimulus is generally not an effective way to combat recessions.
2010-03-30T15:57:10.239-04:00Four years after George Mason Wins the Lottery, Butler has reached the thin air normally reserved for teams from the "major conferences." Their success prompted me to do a comparison among the "little guys."Of course, such comparisons bring up the question of what is "major?" The term "mid-major" is generally applied now to just about any conference outside the Big Six (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, SEC, Pac 10) even though some of these might be best described as "Near Major" (USA, A10?, Mountain West?), Mid Tier, and Low Tier. For time and space, I'm proceeding with the "outside the Big Six" definition, even though this throws in Cornell with Memphis.The other issue is how to measure success. Given no exact metric, I'm using three yardsticks related to NCAA tournament success: total wins over 2000-2010, number of years with wins, and highest level of advancement. The results appear in the table below (based on a quick tabulation, so errors likely):'Rank by WinsRank by Years with WinsRank by Highest LevelGonzaga (11)Gonzaga (7)Memphis (Final)Memphis (11)Xavier (6)Butler (Semifinal + ?)Xavier (10)Memphis (5)George Mason (SemiFinal)Butler (8 + ?)Butler (4)Memphis (F8 - 3) S. Illinois (5)Nevada (3)Xavier (F8 - 2)Tulsa (5)S. Illinois (3)Davidson (F8)George Mason(4)Tulsa (3)Temple (F8)Kent (4)Utah (3)Gonzaga (S16 - 4)Nevada (4)Kent (2)Memphis (S16 - 4) St. Joseph (4)Pacific (2)Butler (S16 - 3)Temple (4)Sienna (2)S. Illinois (S16 - 2)Utah (4)St. Joseph (2) Davidson (3)Temple (2) UAB (3)UAB (2) UNLV (3)UNLV (2) WKU (3)VCU (2) Bradley (2)WKU (2) Cornell (2) N. Iowa (2) Pacific (2) St. Mary's (2) UW-Mil. (2) Wichita St. (2) Along with who is included and how to measure success, the time frame also matters. If two more years are included, Gonzaga's win total increases to 14 and they have a Final 8 appearance. Utah's relative performance also increases from a couple more years.The decade long performances of programs such as Gonzaga, Memphis, Xavier, and Butler are very impressive. To find programs averaging more than a win per year, one has to look at places like Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke. Their performances stand above past national champs such as Louisville or Louisville and way out front of champs-turned-strugglers like Arkansas. The talking heads who like to refer to how Gonzaga hasn't beaten X or advanced past the Sweet 16 in more than a decade just don't get it.While my interests here lie mainly with individual team performance, some interesting conference comparisons jumped out also. For example, five different teams from Butler's relatively obscure Horizon league have won NCAA tourney games, four from Gonzaga's WAC, and a whopping seven from the Missouri Valley have won. More competition at the conference level, such as the MVC, both helps and hurts individual teams -- helps by playing better competition, raising seeds and hurts by making it tougher to make the tournament.One thing that jumps out at me from these numbers is how well these "mid-majors" perform relative to the Big Six teams when playing them at neutral sites. Regular season records are very much skewed by the ability of Big Six teams to stack their home schedule. It would be interesting to look at regular season matchups at neutral court sites or on the home sites of the "little guys" -- maybe a different post down the road.[...]
2010-03-28T10:14:28.155-04:00Major college athletic programs are run in ways that are very similar their professional brethren. They compete in markets for top talent (except that in college, the players can't be paid). They practice price discrimination. For example, colleges routinely give ticket discounts to students, an example of what we economists call third-degree price discrimination. They use two-part tariffs to allocate tickets. In the pros, they use personal seat licenses. In college, they use donations. Both the pros and the colleges employ revenue sharing. The primary difference between the colleges and the pros is that the revenue programs in college, generally football and men's basketball, generate revenue for cross-subsidization of non-revenue programs.But Phil, you'll say, colleges are non-profit while the professional team owners do what they do for profit. Fair enough, but I'd counter that being a non-profit in terms of tax status only restricts what you do with excess income. It does not restrict your underlying motive. Moreover, colleges try to generate as much revenue as possible. Further, since most of their costs are fixed costs, as in the pros, maximizing revenue is the same as maximizing profits (or minimizing losses).So when I see, for example, coaching salaries in the academy that look similar to those in the pros, I usually don't raise an eyebrow.But this raised both of my eyebrows. Lew Perkins, the University of Kansas athletic director, was the state’s highest-paid employee in 2007 at $646,281.But that’s a paltry sum compared with what Perkins received in 2009 — $4.4 million.Perkins’ pay is the equivalent of $85,000 a week — about 10 KU students’ average yearly tuition payments. What’s more, $4.4 million appears to place Perkins far beyond that of any athletic director in the nation.Nice pay if you can get it. Andy Zimbalist is quoted in the next paragraph and he, like me, was flabbergasted. Iowa State's Jamie Pollard was paid $379,000 in 2009. The Kansas City Star has done some research on AD salaries and finds that Mizzou's Mike Alden gets base pay of just over $234,000 with some potential for bonus pay, but nothing even close to $4.4 million. Texas, where everything is supposed to be bigger, pays its AD, DeLoss Dodds, $750,000. According to the article, the next highest salary is the nearly $1 million paid to Florida's AD Jeremy Foley. Shoot, Perkins got paid more last year than KU men's basketball coach Bill Self last year, and AD's usually aren't in the same salary league as their football and basketball coaches. Where did KU get the money?Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director at Kansas Athletics, said the more than $4 million required for Perkins’ compensation package in 2009 came from general Kansas Athletics revenue, including supporters’ donations, conference revenue, student fees and other sources. No specific fundraising effort was used to raise money for Perkins’ bonuses, he said.I don't blame Perkins for taking this kind of pay and he's done some good things at KU according to the KC Star. But $4.4 million seems like a steep price to pay for an AD, especially one that was apparently paid less than $150,000 at Connecticut. But like I said: nice pay if you can get it.[...]
2010-03-26T12:59:45.558-04:00The latest issue of the IMF's journal, Finance and Development, has a number of essays on the impact of hosting events like the Olympics and the World Cup. Andrew Zimbalist's paper "Is it Worth It?" is a brief but balanced and fact-filled summary. Here is a sample:
[I]n Sydney, Australia, it now costs $30 million a year to operate the 90,000-seat Olympic stadium. Many of the venues used in the 2004 Athens Games are either vacant or seldom used and occupy valuable land in a crowded urban center. The Beijing Games left a legacy of several expensive buildings, including the elaborate Water Cube swimming facility, which is severely underused. In contrast, successful events, like the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, use existing facilities as much as possible, making good use of scarce urban land. The stadium used for the opening and closing ceremonies in the 1996 Atlanta Games was reconfigured into a baseball stadium immediately after the games. Olympic planners need to design facilities that will be useful for a long time and that are constructively integrated into the host city or region.The essay by Andrew Rose and Mark Spiegel is of particular interest, as it discusses a novel finding in their 2009 paper "The Olympic Effect." Rose and Spiegel present evidence that countries that bid to host the Olympics enjoy a permanent increase in international trade. Here is the abstract to the 2009 paper:
Economists are skeptical about the economic benefits of hosting “mega-events” such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup, since such activities have considerable cost and seem to yield few tangible benefits. These doubts are rarely shared by policy-makers and the population, who are typically quite enthusiastic about such spectacles. In this paper, we reconcile these positions by examining the economic impact of hosting mega-events like the Olympics; we focus on trade. Using a variety of trade models, we show that hosting a mega-event like the Olympics has a positive impact on national exports. This effect is statistically robust, permanent, and large; trade is around 30% higher for countries that have hosted the Olympics. Interestingly however, we also find that unsuccessful bids to host the Olympics have a similar positive impact on exports. We conclude that the Olympic effect on trade is attributable to the signal a country sends when bidding to host the games, rather than the act of actually holding a mega-event. We develop a political economy model that formalizes this idea, and derives the conditions under which a signal like this is used by countries wishing to liberalize.It is not clear how this rather large impact on trade can be reconciled with the lack of impact on GDP. Perhaps there is both a signaling effect and a winners curse effect that operates here. At any rate, the full Rose and Spiegel paper (pdf here) is certainly worth calling attention to.
2010-03-25T17:38:25.508-04:00In terms of profits and TV exposure, the NFL appears to be the most successful sports league in North America. But I am starting to wonder about those people. The collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' union expires at the end of next season and there is no agreement in sight. The parties are not even negotiating right now. The 2010 season has no salary cap, and the effects of this are still unknown.
2010-03-24T09:18:49.339-04:00The Feds have begun an investigation into the sale of tickets to Kansas Jayhawk men's basketball tournament games, and maybe season ticket sales, according to a story in this morning's Kansas City Star. At this point, an athletic department fundraiser, who was formerly the director of ticket sales, has been put on administrative leave. In addition, ticket brokers from around the nation have been subpoenaed.
2010-03-23T10:49:39.256-04:00The NCAA men's basketball season is winding down, so the annual shuffle in head coaches is heating up. A few odds and ends from the early market action:
2010-03-23T10:32:45.072-04:00Watching NBA highlights last night on NBATV, I stumbled across this video story on the 2010 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Daryl Morey, GM of the Houston Rockets, helped establish the conference (now in its 4th year) that includes a variety of owners (Mark Cuban, Robert Kraft), GMs, coaches, and statistical assistants. Panels cut across a variety of on-the-field analysis (basketball analytics, baseball analytics, limits of analytics) as well as off-the-field issues (attendance, expansion, and others). Data-oriented sports analytics now appears to be in mid-stream when viewed along Zvi Griliches S-Curve for the spread of innovations. When Moneyball appeared in 2003, it chronicled some of the earliest innovators. In looking over the conference panels and the NBA's website articles on the nature and uses of "analytics" in their area, the fingerprints of the Moneyball-"metric" approaches are explicit. Of course, a generation or more earlier, the contributions in Sabermetrics as well as in sports economics-statistics like that of Rotemberg, Scully, Quirk-Fort, and others began plowing this soil, even if those works don't receive much explicit attention. After all, Bill Walsh may receive most "mentions" for modern passing schemes while Coryell and, even earlier, Sid Gillman did much of the early development. With that said, there are a lot of sports-focused "metrics" out there with little or no connection to economics or economists. That's healthy. Statisticians with different training bring their own comparative advantages to the table. In looking over Chance or the American Statistician, it's clear that statisticians (math stats types) tend to focus much more heavily on distributional issues than economists. Others, like the StatCube outfit mentioned in the NBA article, specialize in the collection and management of data. Do economists have a niche even beyond academics and in the "engineering" type data analytics discussed at the conference? I think so. The background of economists gives us some advantages at disentangling (identifying) specific relationships, thinking in terms of omitted variables, and other model-building skills. (See 2009 TSE piece on ECONFL.) Like other data-oriented disciplines, econ also contributes by raising awareness among undegrads (like Bill Belichick and Jim Schwartz) for what data analysis can do.[...]
2010-03-23T07:06:38.255-04:00If you don't live in India then you probably haven't noticed that one of the World's biggest sporting events started just over a week ago. The Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 cricket competition lasting six weeks is every bit of a national fixation as March Madness is in the US (in fact, to be honest it's bigger), with the 3 hour games achieving ratings which rival the top Indian soap operas. The launch of Bollywood movies is now delayed so as not to clash with the IPL.
2010-03-21T11:54:07.814-04:00The second round game between Syracuse and Gonzaga today has an interesting sub-plot: a lot of Canadians will be on the floor. Syracuse guard Andy Rautins and forward Kris Joseph are Canadian citizens; Gonzaga has four Canadians on the roster. In Canada, sports channel The Score has the broadcast rights to the Big Dance, and they have naturally been promoting teams with Canadian players heavily. They also do a lot of old school, ESPN-style switching between games to show close finishes.
2010-03-20T09:23:44.164-04:00[Association] Football Federation Australia is the national governing body for soccer in Australia. It is financially weak, but politically strong enough to have secured a loan of $45m (AUD) from the Australian Goverment to lodge a bid for either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups. News Limited have a copy of that agreement available online for those who are interested in contracts (click here). This funding comes after the Australian Government bailed out the former governing body of soccer, Soccer Australia, in the mid 2000's and enforced a strategic review and 'rebooting' of the sport.
Access Economics is one of the most respected economic consultancies down under, and such findings will not surprise many readers of The Sports Economist. But the fact that news is breaking now, that such an economic impact critique was not conducted until after the Australian Government has decided to support this bid is sad on many levels. Suppression of such documents is a dismal reflection upon democracy in Australia. That the Australian Government is willing to support the financing of a World Cup bid that would cost billions and offer a questionable return at the same time as running the federal budget from a $21.0 billion surplus in 2007-08 to a projected deficit of $53.1 billion (estimated 4.5% of GDP) (click here for official budget financials) is scandalous. A national election is due later this year.
"is believed to argue that claims by proponents that countries which hosted such events [ie the FIFA World Cup] would secure massive economic benefits often did not stand up to scrutiny. ... In the case of the World Cup, it identifies building stadiums, improving public transport and providing security as significant costs mounting into several billions of dollars".
2010-03-19T10:38:16.756-04:00It's official. The Baltimore expansion franchise in the LFL, Lingerie Football League for the uninformed, will be called the Baltimore Charm. For those snickering at the irony of a team of bikini clad women playing football to be called the Charm, I should point out that Baltimore's nickname is Charm City. (As if that isn't irony enough for the people who don't know just what a great place Baltimore is.) The LFL website reports that over 28000 votes were cast. I don't know how voting was conducted or who was eligible to vote. At least three alternatives received votes. Orlando also received an expansion franchise, to be called the Fantasy.
2010-03-19T10:43:05.450-04:00In an article today on CNN.com, the normally quite sharp Chris Isidore, a senior writer for CNNMoney, perpetuates one of the most enduring myths in sports economics: that college sports teams generate significant profits for their host institutions.
2010-03-17T14:37:54.565-04:00South Africa has spent at least $6 billion in preparations for this summer's World Cup. How can a poor but developing country like South Africa afford to host such an extravagant party? Simply put, it can't.
The people who live nearby [the new stadium in Nelspruit], proud as they are to host soccer’s greatest event, also wonder: How could there be money for a 46,000-seat stadium while many of them still fetch water from dirty puddles and live without electricity or toilets?Of course, this is familiar territory for economists. Six years ago, I wrote an article that appeared in the South African Journal of Economics about mega-events in developing nations. In that article I wrote,
The Nigerian government recently spent $330 million on a new national soccer stadium, more than the annual national government expenditures on health or education. The intense criticism of this project is not directed at the cost of the stadium, but rather the cost of the stadium in the face of other pressing needs in a country like Nigeria.Substitute the Nigerian national stadium for the new $137 milllion stadium in Nelspruit that will host a grand total of 6 hours of soccer this summer, and there is perfect foreshadowing of the type of misallocation of scarce resources that has come to fruition in South Africa.
2010-03-15T17:33:28.561-04:00March Madness is upon us again. This year, the men's college basketball postseason features some interesting economic madness across the board. For the second year in a row, there are four postseason tournaments. Here's a roundup of the four events:The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The "Big Dance." 65 teams in a single elimination "knockout" tournament spread over three weekends in March and April. Games are held at predetermined neutral sites across the country. The big economic news here is that this could be the last year of the much-loved 65 team format, which has been in place since 2001. The tournament had a 64 team format from 1985-2000. The NCAA generates about 90% of its operating revenue from the massive 13 year, $6 billion contract with CBS to televise this tournament. The NCAA/CBS contract is in year 10, and the NCAA has an opt-out clause following this year's tournament broadcast. Much speculation revolves around the NCAA exercising that option, putting the broadcast rights for future tournaments up for bid, and expanding the field to as many as 96 teams. A new auction and expanded field could substantially increase the value of the contract. I am a big fan of the 64/65 team format, and would hate to see it go. The NCAA seems to have a strong incentive to change the format. Stay tuned.The National Invitational Tournament. The second tier postseason tournament. 32 teams in a single elimination "knockout" tournament. The finals are played in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Founded in 1938, the NIT is actually older than the NCAA tournament, and for a long time it was more prestigious. The NCAA has owned the NIT since 2005, when it purchased the rights to operate the tournament for 10 years from the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA), a consortium of NYC colleges, for $56.5 million. The NIT and NCAA Tournament do not compete for teams; NCAA rules prohibit a team for turning down an NCAA bid for the NIT. Interestingly, Marquette University did just that in 1970, when Coach Al McGuire turned down the NCAA bid to play in the NIT closer to home. Marquette won the NIT that year. Most NIT games are televised on ESPN.The College Basketball Invitational Tournament. A sixteen team tournament operated by the Gazelle Group, a sports marketing company. Now in its third year of operation, the CBI has a single elimination format until the championship round, which is a best of three series between the last two teams. CBI games are held on campus. Up to 11CBI games will be carried on HDNet, an all hi-def channel that is available on many satellite and cable providers around North America. There is some anecdotal evidence that the CBI has tried to compete with the NIT for teams, but it has not been successful. Participants:Akron (24-10), Boston University (19-13), College of Charleston (21-11), Colorado State (16-15), Duquesne (16-15), Eastern Kentucky (20-12), George Washington (16-14), Wisconsin Green Bay (21-12), Hofstra (19-14), Indiana State (17-14), IUPUI (24-10), Morehead State (23-10), Oregon State (14-17), Princeton (20-8), Saint Louis (20-11), and Virginia Commonwealth (22-9).The CollegeInsider.com Tournament. A sixteen team single elimination tournament operated by, I think, the people who run the CollegeInsiders.com web site. This tournament is in its second year of operation. As best as I can tell, the CIT has no television coverage, but games will be streamed on Fox College Sports broadba[...]
2010-03-15T17:33:31.486-04:00Following on from Skip's post a couple of weeks ago, the group of would-be Manchester United owners who call themselves the Red Knights have retained Nomura as their advisers in launching a takeover and they have now called for season ticket holders not to renew this summer. I would imagine that the Glazers could take some kind of legal action faced with this threat, but they seem to be choosing a softly, softly approach, believing that either (a) this process will flush out a bid so high that they can't refuse (they have retained an investment bank to advise them on incoming bids) or (b) these tactics will discredit the Red Knights in the eyes of true fans. Interestingly the Red Knights promise that those who didn't take up their season tickets will be able to take them up if the Red Knights gain control, but it's difficult to see how this can be guaranteed (what if the Glazers manage to sell the season tickets to someone else?). In the end it seems to come down to this: can the Red Knights persuade enough fans to engage in an economic boycott of the club so that the financial position of the Glazers becomes perilous enough that they are forced to sell out? This sounds like a revolution, but the Red Knights should beware; revolutions frequently devour their own children.
Upset that your favorite team received a 10 or 11 seed when they deserved a few spots higher? Don't be.
As it turns out, the NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness tournament exhibits a strange anomaly in its seeding. While higher seeds generally perform better in the opening round of games than lower seeds, all bets are off when it comes the second round.
While a #8 seed has a better chance of winning their opening match-up against a # seed than a #10 seed has of upsetting their #7 seeded rival, historically #10 seeds, win more games and advance further in the tournament than either #8 or #9 seeds. Because the tournament is not reseeded at each round, a victorious #8 seed almost certainly earns the right to play a #1 seed while a winning #10 seed will face a #2 seed at worst, and a #15 seed at best. The observed probability of advancing to next round and the number of wins per seed are shown in the table below. Among the striking results is that #12 seeds are twice as likely to make the sweet sixteen than a #8.
While this anomaly violates the usual system of rewards given to teams that do well in the regular season, all I can say is thank goodness my Golden Gophers of Minnesota are an 11 seed!
Update: Thanks for the formatting advice.
2010-03-05T09:34:48.920-05:00Do you feel a bit more uninhibited this morning? In a free-wheeling mood? A lot of NFL front office types do, because as of 12:01am, the NFL entered territory unseen since Bill Clinton was in the White House: no salary cap.
2010-03-04T13:28:28.131-05:00Funding has dried up for a lot of things in the Great Recession, including college sports programs. At Cal State San Marcos,
2010-03-03T16:09:21.205-05:00Related to Skip's post, how much happiness was generated in Canada by Sunday's hockey victory?
"Thousands on street" in Vancouver (maybe 150,000), Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and all over the country.Crowd estimates are always sketchy, but the crowd in Vancouver was large, very large. The team and entire audience's unabashed rendition of "O Canada" during the medal ceremony stirred even a cynical, non-Canadian economist like myself.
2010-03-03T11:12:51.035-05:00In an earlier post, I wrote about Big 10 expansion and argued that if the Big 10 decided to expand, it would look east before it would look west. That was under the assumption the Big 10 would add one team. If it decides to add more than one team, then westward expansion makes more sense.
A source inside the league told the Chicago Tribune that the report, prepared by the Chicago-based investment firm William Blair & Company, analyzed whether five different schools would add enough revenue to justify expanding the league beyond 11 teams.
"The point was: We can all get richer if we bring in the right team or teams," the source said.
The five analyzed were Missouri, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Rutgers. The source, though, called those five "the obvious suspects" and cautioned that other universities could earn consideration.
Like Texas or Nebraska?
"You just don't jump into the league and get a full share of what everyone else in this league has established over time," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez told The Associated Press. "I think someone has to buy their way into the league."I love how the world of "non-profit" "amateur" sports resembles the world of the pros.
2010-03-02T12:32:48.095-05:00Todd McCubbin, the executive director of the University of Missouri Alumni Association, writes a short piece on the number of tickets sold by Mizzou to this year's Texas Bowl. His short essay is located on page 47 of the spring 2010 issue of the Mizzou alumni magazine (I don't have a link to the piece, but here's a general link to the alumni magazine)."The mystery of the Big 12 bowl selection process still casts a shadow on the 2009 campaign. For the third consecutive year, teams the Tigers defeated were selected ahead of them. Our e-mail and phone lines were busy as many of you voiced concerns about the process. The media shed light: The bottom line seems to be that, unless a team is conference champion, wins and losses mean little. Instead, bowl organizations make selections based partly on television ratings but mosly on how many fans travel to watch the game in person. It can be tough to swallow that a team's performance on the field can count for so little." McCubbin goes on to say that about 10,000 Mizzou fans made the trip to Houston, but that was short of the school's 11,000 ticket allotment. As part of my sabbatical research, I have been working on examining the ticket sales made at the institutional level for the 2008-2009 bowl season. My source for tickets sold is this post at the Wiz of Odds. The results are preliminary and, as such, have not been peer-reviewed yet. So take this for what it's worth. Here are some results from a preliminary STATA analysis on my data. The numbers are the result of an OLS regression. Variable Parameter Standard Err t-statistic p-value Tradition 264.3157 45.48273 5.81 0 Years Since Last Bowl 618.8521 112.5678 5.5 0 Dist from Nearest NFL Stadium 17.07413 2.621021 6.51 0 Distance from Bowl Location -2.229766 1.103187 -2.02 0.048 BCS Dummy 3382.728 2124.074 1.59 0.117 Local Population 0.0006327 0.0003135 2.02 0.048 Private School Dummy -4206.533 1783.724 -2.36 0.022 Intercept 1474.826 1355.562 1.09 0.281 N = 64 F(7, 56) = 0 R-Sq = 0.6700 Root MSE = 4785.7 I defined Tradition as the number of Division/FCS level bowls the program has been to in its history. Local population is the local population of the university's city. I tried controlling for university enrollment and bowl city average temperature during the month of the bowl but neither added anything to the results. I didn't have any information on ticket prices.The regression explains about two-thirds of the variation in ticket sales. Not too bad. The analysis tells me that teams that have more tradition sell more tickets. For every bowl game the team has been to in the past, about 264 more tickets are sold. Teams that haven't been to a bowl in awhile sell more tickets (this tells me that winning is subject to diminishing marginal utility). For every year it's been since the last bowl appearance, the university sells about 619 more tickets. The farther a university is from an NFL stadium, the more tickets sold (about 17 more tickets for every mile in distance away from the NFL stadium). The farther the university is from the bowl location, the fewer tickets sold (about 2 fewer for every mile in distance). Playing in a BCS game doesn't statistically explain the variability of ticket sales. The bigge[...]