How Sports Teams Enter New Cities

Every few years a new expansion team will form around the country. Occasionally, a sports team will move to another city, sometimes in a new state entirely. While there are a whole host of reasons why this happens, the answer usually comes down to money. Expansion teams are formed in cities that will provide economic opportunity, and teams that are suffering financially are sometimes moved to more lucrative locations.

Sports Managers and the Bottom Line

Relocating thousands and sometimes millions of dollars’ worth of franchise isn’t as simple as packing up a moving van. Similarly, forming a team out of nothing is no easy task. Those in the sports management profession work tirelessly to make sure teams have a location to practice and play that will generate the team money. They also work to get teams the publicity to attract fans and to secure television-broadcasting slots.

Building a Fan Base (Without Alienating the Old One)

Sports teams enter new cities because their owner(s) can make more money there. A great recent example of this in the NFL can be seen with the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los Angeles. According to the Washington Post, the value of the team skyrocketed from $1.45 billion to around $3 billion. One of the biggest reasons for this is the increase in fan base.

A fan base is important to a team’s success. If an expansion team is formed, their existence needs to be properly advertised. This may include promotional packages and other enticing offers to get initial fans in the door. If a team moves from one city to the other, essentially the same process must take place. Managers must create a sense of identity without destroying the old.

Clinching Television Deals

Another important aspect of creating a team presence in a new city is by making sure the locals—and sometimes even the nation—can watch the team play. Networks compete with each other for showing games that will attract the most viewers; securing a prime time slot is often essential for a newly formed or freshly-moved team to succeed.

Stadium Ownership Rights

Depending on the sport, stadium rights can play a critical part in a team’s success. For example, in baseball, a team depends greatly on the income generated by fans who attend the 80+ games played at home—not to mention the amount advertising companies pay to expose those fans to their brand. If the stadium is owned by a host of different investors, the power of the team is diluted. Sports managers work hard to find and maintain the best real estate deals and endorsement contracts.

Jobs in the Sports Management Industry

Teams moving to new cities inevitably bring in a generous portion of new jobs. With this in mind, now is an excellent time to pursue an online Master’s degree in sports management. Hundreds of professional sports teams need fresh, bright minds to continue revolutionizing sports, and when expansion teams are formed or teams move to new cities, this need is even greater.

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