Imagine an Opening Day With Fans Owning the Teams

The current arrangement, Daniel Pink writes, is only a good deal for the owners and their monopoly
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2024 7:20 PM CDT
Imagine an Opening Day With Fans Owning the Teams
Reds third baseman Elly De La Cruz, left, tags the Washington Nationals' Jesse Winker before he reaches second base on Thursday in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

The baseball season is just starting, but it's clear that in many cities, the owners will have a better year than the fans. The area surrounding the District of Columbia is one such place, Daniel Pink writes in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. Three families have controlled the three major professional teams there for two decades. Overall, the teams' records aren't much, Pink says, though the franchises rise rapidly in value and sell for billions. "The fans get steady losses on the field," he writes. "The owners get massive gains to their net worth." Maybe it's time to shake that up, Pink suggests.

Because sports leagues are a monopoly, an expert explains, the owners control everything, to their advantage. They don't add teams, ensuring demand exceeds supply and prices and values rise. On top of that, public money pays for stadiums and other infrastructure. "The costs are socialized among the many, while the benefits are privatized to the few," Pink writes. Selling teams to fans might be a better way. It's been a success for the Green Bay Packers and their owner/fans for a century. Fan ownership is more common outside the US, Pink points out, naming Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, for starters. You can find Pink's argument here. (More sports stories.)

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