Zombie Teams and Zombie Owners

After reading this chapter in the text it became more apparent than ever how greedy the owners of professional sports teams are. Coming from millions if not billions of dollars, they are always pleading poor or looking for financial assistance with regards to ventures that surround their team.

A main issue that stood out to me was publicly funding stadiums. As I previously mentioned these owners tend to come from a lot of money, but insist that they need taxpayer’s money when building a new facility. These owners plead poor and say that they are not making any money. They claim that if a new facility is built through tax dollars that it will benefit the local area socially and economically. However, there is always large debate as to whether this statement is valid. Some citizens may see no personal gains from the facility and not want to pay taxes to fund it. A large portion who support it may not even be able to afford the price of admission to see their team play which is socially unacceptable. In addition, these stadiums may take generations to pay off leading to negative economic outcomes.

This leads to topic of sports teams being publicly owned. Those citizens who are interested in owning a share of the team will do so and take responsibility for team related expenses. The Green Bay Packers are a prime example of this. They are operated by people in the community that own shares of the franchise. They have been playing in the same stadium for many decades and still manage to have great attendance. This allows for those who are not interested in the team to remain unattached from any responsibility with regards to funding and allows for the fans to be in control. In my opinion this is a  great way to operate a team as it allows for the teams to be owned by true fans in true markets and not by the capitalist money hogs that only seek ownership for their own financial benefits.

What is your take on this dilemma? Should professional sports teams be publicly or privately owned?


Zirin, D. (2013). Game over how politics has turned the sports world upside down. (pp. 73-90). New York: The New Press.

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2 Responses to Zombie Teams and Zombie Owners

  1. mmorello11 says:

    After reading this chapter, I was in he exact same boat as you. Personally, I think that publically owned stadiums/teams is a great idea. Green Bay is a prime example of the success that can be seen from being publically owned. My only question becomes, what about teams that don’t have much support – fan wise? What would they do if their stadium/team was publically owned, getting the residents to buy in might be a lot more difficult and therefore they would experience some turmoil in these situations? Teams such as the Maple Leafs, or the NY Rangers wouldn’t really have an issue with getting people/fans to buy a stake in the team- in my opinion, however other teams that don’t do very well, or just don’t have that fan base may face some trouble.

  2. km10sy says:

    I too believe that publicly funded sports franchises are a good idea. Publicly funded teams like the Packers are non profit so all of their income is invested right back into the team. They would limit the costs that tax payers have for stadium subsidies. and the people of these communities would be able to directly benefit from the stake they own in their team. I just cant see this shift happening anytime soon. Owners have corrupted North American Professional Sports within the last decade and i don’t see them taking a back seat anytime soon. They are pleading poor in order to get the financing from their city. In reality very few owners are losing money in professional sports, they have just skewed their numbers in order to get public sympathy. If they were losing as much as they report then their leagues would not be expanding and the value of franchises would not be on the rise.

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