Thursday (The real costs of sports) edition: Wha' Happened?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • December 13, 2012 - 9:39 AM

There are facts about government, taxes and how things are paid that most of us only understand vaguely. We know things like stadiums cost an awful lot of money. We know owners and athletes are rich, while most of us are not. And we know that somewhere, somehow, sports exploded from a seasonal business where top players in the top leagues had part-time jobs in the offseason to make ends meet ... into what it is today.

We also know this sentiment doesn't just apply to sports. All sorts of other businesses and associated costs (and profits) have exploded. The money has to come from somewhere, but we don't quite have a grasp of how it all adds up (or doesn't add up).

If you are interested, then, in a detailed look at just that thing -- a rather sobering look, in many cases -- then we direct you today to this very long but quite interesting Sports On Earth piece by Patrick Hruby. It should be noted that a lot of what he writes is not new -- but it is in a more mainstream sports space than you normally find such things, and it combines a comprehensive overview with a boatload of specifics in a way we had not previously seen.

It is, at the very least, a great starting point for a larger discussion of sports and money as we know them. If you have long thought there was a tipping point for sports, money and how consumers view the big picture somewhere in the future -- even in the distant future -- Hruby's piece and Will Leitch's shorter look at sports and the cable TV system will only reinforce that idea.

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