TSE Halloween Edition

Interesting article in the WaPo about the practice of scattering cremated remains at sports venues. Sports teams in the US clearly want nothing to do with this practice, despite obvious demand. Two observations: (1) this is a worldwide phenomenon; and (2) this is an unexploited profit opportunity. A quote from the article makes both points:

In Argentina, the tradition of scattering ashes on the wildly popular Boca Juniors soccer team’s pitch each time a goal was scored got so out of hand that the club opened a cemetery in 2007 expressly for fans, in part out of concern for the health of the playing surface. A soccer club in Hamburg followed suit in 2008, overrun with scattering requests.

Other businesses make money on the “business of death.” You can buy a casket on the web from WalMart. According to the article, it’s possible to buy officially licensed MLB urns to hold ashes, so the league was not squeamish about that licensing deal. I’m sure those cemeteries opened by football clubs are not free. The article notes that the owner of a business that arranges “scatterings” at other venues has had no success at sports venues in the US. The teams mention “concerns about superstitious players” and fears of overwhelming demand. That sounds like a significant profit opportunity to me. So what are the economic barriers here?

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Author: Brad Humphreys

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