Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist have written a new book coming out on April 1st called National Pastime:
In National Pastime, Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist examine how organizational structures have made Major League Baseball a profitable business (notwithstanding common claims made by the owners) while soccer leagues around the world struggle to break even. They weave a rich variety of stories, anecdotes, and photos into their account of how these games became businesses, and how these businesses have adapted to the demands of fans. The authors show how early administrators of baseball and soccer leagues were influenced by the parallel developments of each sport and, in particular, how the concept of the league was invented by American baseball and transplanted first to English soccer, and then to the rest of the world.
Zimbalist’s Baseball and Billions was one of the first books that I read on sports economics and it was one of the primary reasons I became interested in doing research in this field. Szymanski’s writings have helped economists understand design issues in sports. I look forward to reading this book.