John K. Wilson
In professional team sports, a variety of labour market and revenue sharing arrangements are imposed in order to maintain competitive balance. The efficacy of these measures is rarely challenged, though there is little doubt that they stifle innovation among teams, potentially deter clubs from investing in young talent, and reduce the surplus for players, both in wages received and non-pecuniary benefits such as where they live. While competitive balance may benefit teams who are more certain to maintain their market power, the stated goal is usually centred on maintaining fan interest and on getting people through the gates. This chapter uses data from the SANFL – an established and highly popular Australian football competition during the twentieth century – to assess the impact of competitive balance on crowd attendance for both minor round and major round games.
John K. Wilson
Many people believe that interest in history has waned. University offerings of history degrees have fallen, and there are constant calls to reform and reinvent the teaching of history in our schools. While this may be to some extent true, it is interesting to observe that the sense of history held by most sports fans is deep, and has certainly not changed in many decades. Teams are remembered for their memorable clashes and rivalries, achievements, and on occasion, even their demise over time. Players even long dead are remembered, discussed and compared against their contemporaries. There is a fondness for old stadiums, leagues and these are constantly used as a benchmark against which modern sports are measured.