Talk:Relocation of professional sports teams

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Heading 1[edit]

Stuff this should cover

  • when did it develop and why?
  • stuff about teams moving
  • why did it 'not' really develop in Europe (along with tendencies towards such - e.g. Wimbledon F.C. moving to Milton Keynes)

Morwen - Talk 17:21, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wimbledon/General Content Discussion[edit]

Talk copied from User Talk:Robdurbar and User Talk:Concrete Cowboy

I don't understand why you removed the reference (in Sports franchising) to WFC's move to Selhurst Park, since it is factual. You gave as your reason for reverting that "it wasn't permanent". Maybe the Directors said that it wasn't intended to be permanent, but selling Plough Lane sounds pretty permanent to me. Obviously a ground share is not a good idea, but they did spend best part of 12 years there. Maybe they hoped they'd win the lottery or something, because it wasn't going to happen just by closing their eyes ever so tightly and wishing very hard. Open land inside the M25 doesn't come cheap I think it needs to be restored unless you have more convincing reasons. --Concrete Cowboy 23:36, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Its just that its quite 'p.o.v.' to call that a franchise move, since its not generally considered as one. Grimsby Town F.C. have been playing in Cleethorpes for years but it's not considered a franchise; Partick Thistle left Partick for Maryhill, but again this is not considered franchising. Indeed, I was tempted to remove Arsenal from the list too but left it as I'm less aware of the situation. However, during the Selhurst Park era the club was never referred to as being franchised out, and it would be wrong of WIkipeida to suggest that moving within a larger conurbation necessairily makes it so. Robdurbar 23:47, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I see what you are saying - but the section is about club relocations in particular, not just franchising.
Of course the whole application of the word "Franchising" to this case is faintly ridiculous and it doesn't do to look to closely at the term "Franchise FC" as it was applied to WFC. To me, franchising is when you want to set up a branch of Subway or Body Shop - you pay the franchise owners to use their branding (and their product). In the US certainly, the owners of the Red Socks are described as "owning the franchise" - on that basis you could say that Abramovich "bought the Chelsea franchise" and Glazer couldn't see what everybody was so excited about when he bought the MUFC franchise. [The fans expect their millionaire owners to do it as a hobby, not treat it like a leveraged buyout of BAA, for example]. The Norwegian owners of WFC didn't sell it to anyone, but they did decide to relocate it, hoping to get a new fan base (as happened in Livingston). I suppose you could call it "commoditisation" but "Commodity FC" doesn't have much of a ring to it. Arsenal (so called because their original players were employed by the Woolwoch Arsenal where the armaments were kept) just relocated across the river but I don't know why - maybe the War Office wanted the football ground in Woolwich to store more artillery in. The main thing that I wanted to show is that relocation out of area is not that unusual. Ok, 45 miles (from Marble Arch) to MK is more than most, but then again a lot of Londoners have made exactly the same relocation. --Concrete Cowboy 00:13, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Interesting... I think that there is a place but the text needs to be re-worded to show that you're clearly talking about the relocation of clubs. I think perhaps two sepearte sections might be relevant here - one discussing the Wimbledon move to Milton Keyenes - and one discussing the various relocations, including Selhurst Park. Robdurbar 08:46, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
That was a good improvement to the article, but still needs work. Pittsburgh Athletic move 80 degrees west to Oakland. The equivalent move from London would be to Toronto, Canada or Novosibirsk, Russia. So moving 70 miles is hardly the same scale. So is the question one of distance? or buying a bankrupt club and then moving it (like Ardrie did and MK Dons didn't)? Just because a tag was attached doesn't make it immune from analyis. [If you think this discussion belongs on the talk page, feel free to move]. --Concrete Cowboy 16:32, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
user:Nogood changed the reference to the Pittsburgh/Oakland Athletic move in the article because they are a club and not a franchise. Is there a distinction made between clubs and franchises in America? Can a club also be a franchise? --ThirdEdition 01:23, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I'll ask him. --Concrete Cowboy 00:19, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

"Expand" tag[edit]

I put the tag up because I feel that there could be more about the process in general and the structure of US sport that allows franchising - not something I understand but something that ought to be here. To put it simply, an article on sports franchising that just concerns british football is a bit lacking on content.

I was under the impression that when discussing this in Britain we were referring more to 'relocation', than 'franchsing' in the USA. I agree that the Wimbledon move is technically no different to that of Aresnal or Grimsby, but it is worth mentioning as it is largely referred to as 'franchising'. The Airdrie one is interesting - but again, I dont know enough about the strict definition of what 'franchising' is, hence the request for expansion Robdurbar 08:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we just have to acknowledge it as a misnomer. But first, we really need some USofA contributions to explain what they understand by "sports franchising". --Concrete Cowboy 13:00, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I've never really heard the term used in the U.S. As far as I know, major-league sports franchises here are considered franchises just like McDonald's locations, and that's the way it's always been. So there's really no need to have a name for this system, since it's the only one that exists in major-league sports.

It would be interesting to me to find out how sports teams are owned in other countries, if this system is so unusual. -- Mwalcoff 04:28, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

In Australia the AFL and NRL are 'closed shops' as the American major leagues are. Most of the clubs developed in the same way as English football clubs, but in the AFL the Sydney Swans moved from South Melbourne to Sydney and lots of the Melboune clubs now play some of their home games in other states to increase their fan base. The Brisbane Bears, West Coast Eagles, Adelaide Crows and Fremantle Dockers were clubs created to expand the league. The clubs themselves are mostly owned and run by their members, but as I understand it so are the Green Bay Packers. I don't consider the AFL to be a franchising system, but it is similar to America in some ways. --ThirdEdition 06:22, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Well in the UK - and generally in other European team sports - clubs have no real link to the league they are in. If they win it, they are promoted up a league (if there is a higher one); if they finish towards the bottom, they are relegated down a league. Clubs are tied to their town and location, and (in theory) any one team can move freely about the leagues. So Wigan Athletic, who were twenty years ago at the fifth level of English football/soccer, are now in the Premiership, the top league. Over a longer period of time, a club can move from playing local football within its city or conurbation to competing on a national scale - or visa versa. However, with the exceptions listed in the article, which have generally caused lots of controversey in the UK, a club will not move out of 'its' town, district or city Robdurbar 10:06, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Right -- promotion and relegation (one of the most intriguing aspects of European sports to me). Note that American pro sports teams don't have "members." The Packers are unique in that their ownership is distributed among more than 111,000 shareholders. -- Mwalcoff 01:03, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Confusing article[edit]

I'm considering putting an attention tag on this article, because it certainly needs a lot of work.

I suppose the article is supposed to be about the North American model of ownership of sports teams, but it's almost entirely about the relocation of sports teams. The introductory paragraph is full of confusing statements:

"In sport, a franchise is a club given permanent rights to play in a specific league."

I was under the impression that what makes a franchise a franchise is geographical exclusivity and/or the right to use a trademark. I don't know if a franchise grants a team "permanant rights to play in a specific league." MLB was considering dropping two teams a few years ago. It also doesn't make sense to use the word "club" in this sentence, since American teams aren't really "clubs" (although they are sometimes referred to as "clubs" in a colloquial sense).

"The corporation which owns a major league sports team is often called "the franchise" as a colloquial term."

No, the team itself is called a franchise. Time Warner owns the Atlanta Braves, but no one would call Time Warner a "franchise."

"This concept is standard in the USA and Canada, but is foreign to sport structures in most of the rest of the world. In these other countries, clubs are not attached so much to their league or to their owners, but to their geographical location and history. A club will move through the leagues dependent on their success, and may be promoted or relegated."

This is interesting, but doesn't really explain how ownership structure is different outside of North America.

The second section also has its issues:

"In the United States, sports franchises will occasionally move cities, sometimes vast distances (for example, the St. Louis Rams started out in the Midwestern United States as the Cleveland Rams, moved to Los Angeles on the West Coast in 1945, then again to Saint Louis in 1995.)."

Shouldn't this be in the "relocation" section?

"Major League Baseball ("MLB") is a legal cartel that effectively prevents the yearly promotion and demotion of teams into the Major League by virtue of their performance."

This section sounds a little strange to me, since it's not as if there is a pool of teams that would otherwise qualify to enter MLB. This sentence makes it seem like an FA-style pyramid with promotion and relegation is the natural order of things, and only the policies of MLB are preventing it from happening in baseball.

"MLB also maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League which declared baseball is not considered interstate commerce (and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law), despite baseball's own references to itself as an "industry" rather than a "sport.""

MLB is the only league with an antitrust exemption, but the other American major leagues operate in the same style. As far as I know, the only thing the antitrust exemption does is allow MLB to prevent owners from moving their teams and perhaps to contract.

"Consequently, the only way for new entrant to participate is to buy an existing club and this is known as "buying the franchise"."

Unless the league decides to expand and grant new franchises, as it did in 1998.

Mwalcoff 00:15, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, its a mess. Sometimes the amount af Americana on wikipedia can be irritating to us non-Yanks, but this is one case where an article about an American concept has next to nothing on the US! Jameswilson 01:20, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Most of this article was written by people in the UK, with very limited US imput. Its primary purpose seemed to be to justify the application of the term "Franchise F.C." to Wimbledon F.C when it relocated to Milton Keynes (see Wimbledon F.C.#Move to Milton Keynes). So if Mwalcoff is saying that the issues are entirely separate, the article is in an even bigger mess. Therefore the aricle could do with more Americana, not less. The concept originated in the US so that experience should provide the foundations of the article. If that takes a complete rewrite, please do! --Concrete Cowboy 13:30, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Concrete Cowboy - thats what I was saying. Many articles are "too American" in their focus; this one goes to the opposite extreme. Jameswilson 23:57, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that "sports franchising" is a UK term. We don't use the term in the US, because it's all we know as far as the organization of sports leagues are concerned. I can try to correct the errors about US sports in the article, but what it's going to need is a British person to better explain how the UK model is different. Otherwise, what we're left with is not an article on "sports franchising" at all but an article on the American model of organizing sports leagues.
I'm thinking that perhaps the article should be renamed. A Google search on "sports franchising" finds only 621 hits, most of which have nothing to do with the topic at hand. -- Mwalcoff 00:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Right, got you. "sports frsnchising" is not a must-have title. I imagine it was just to distinguish it from "normal" franchising in other types of business. Is there an an existing article explaining the American system (maybe with a different name) elsewhere? If so we could just link to that for a detailed explanation. I dont know if it exists in Britain for American sports which are played here such as basketball. I dont think so.

But in football (soccer), rugby, cricket, etc, the clubs just go up and down the league structure through promotion and relegation. But even if a big-city club finish in the botton three and get relegated from the the top division, and it can happen, no other club can move onto their patch. The fans have to watch lower-division football for a few years until they get promotion again. At the moment that is the situation in Leeds and Sheffield, two of the biggest cities in the country. Jameswilson 00:22, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Here's my suggestion: When you're talking about the American system, you seem to be talking about franchise relocation and the absence of promotion and relegation. Let's move the stuff on promotion and relegation to that article, if there's something missing from that page, and rename the rest of the page sports-team relocation or something. -- Mwalcoff 00:30, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I am talking about those two things (only). They are the only aspects that ever get discussed here. But we still need some sort of article explaining the rest of the features of the US franchise system somewhere. (No idea what thay are). Is there really no existing article written by an American on that? Jameswilson 01:43, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I would doubt it, because Americans probably aren't aware they have a unique system of organizing sports leagues. Other than the lack of promotion and relegation and the frequency of team relocations, what is unique about the American system? -- Mwalcoff 02:03, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I really dont know. I read somewhere that US cities pay teams to set up in their city for instance, even build them a stadium. Is that right? Jameswilson 02:59, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that happens all the time. But that's part of relocation, isn't it? -- Mwalcoff 03:07, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Well I suppose the other feature of the American system which is surprising to us is that young players are developed by colleges and play for them, only joining professional teams when they are older. Jameswilson 03:26, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you seen the article Sports in the United States? That article goes over all of these things (except team relocation). -- Mwalcoff 04:04, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes that'll do. Could you add something about US team relocation to that, then we can link to it from here. Maybe just use this page as an entry point for British readers, etc, with just a brief description of the US system and the Wimbledon stuff (BTW the subtext for the Wimbledon story is "dastardly underhand attempt by owners (with possible official collusion) to test the waters re possible introduction of franchising here", etc). But if people want more detail on the US system they can find it on the other page. Jameswilson 04:26, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I read a newspaper article at the time that suggested that Malcolm Glazer believed that he was "buying the Manchester United franchise", as he might have bought the Chicago Bears. And now there is new development of a closed "European Superleague" (the G14) where Liverpool could always play even if they didn't finish in the top two of the English Premiership and Chelsea couldn't even if it did. (See Google News because the article hasn't been updated). --Concrete Cowboy 14:28, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
What I still dont understand in all this is, if Malcolm Glazer did believe that, what difference does it make to him (good and bad) when he finds its not the case. In the context of todays news article, my guess would be that he has not been pleased to discover that Man Utd not only have to obey rules made by the Premier League but also rules made by sports overall governing bodies. That would be different from his experience in America? I think there is no "American Football Governing Body" above the NFL made up of representatives of all levels of the sport played across the whole country??????. The NFL does its own thing? But I'm guessing. Jameswilson 23:36, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
No, there is no national governing body for professional (American) football in the U.S., or for any other professional sport. That would probably violate antitrust laws. But I'm sure Malcolm Glazer didn't spend all that money without realizing the Premier League is part of the FA.
Instead of adding info on relocation to Sports in the United States, why don't we rename this page "franchise relocation" and link to it from the general article on American sports? That seems to make more sense to me. -- Mwalcoff 00:58, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes you are probably right about what to do next.

BTW I shouldnt think there would be an anti-trust problem. Surely the NFL is more of a cartel than the Premier League precisely because of the absence of a superior body. Jameswilson 01:11, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'll get to work on transforming the article. -- Mwalcoff 01:23, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Welsh rugby?[edit]

It might be interesting to look at Welsh rugby where the top clubs representing Wales in the Celtic League and European competitions were replaced by regional franchises. A similar thing happened in the Southern Hemisphere where the South African and New Zealand provincial unions have a stake in several Super 14 franchises. In Australia four state unions operate a Super 14 franchise each. --ThirdEdition 23:40, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I dont follow rugby. Have proper franchises been introduced there? If so it should be a major part of this article. Jameswilson 01:13, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

My understanding is that the regional teams in Wales, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia are franchises of their national unions. The national unions (in consultation) decide the number and location of the franchises to best serve the interests of the game. An example of this is the choice of locations of the two new Super 14 franchises in South Africa and Australia. Australia had a choice of Perth or Melbourne and chose the WARU's Perth bid to start the Western Force. South Africa chose to give their new franchise to the Central Cheetahs, but with a promotion/relegation system between their five competing regions and the sixth region, the Southern Spears, for the five franchises each year. Here are some articles on the Welsh regional franchises:

--ThirdEdition 03:37, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Since this article is now called Relocation of professional sports teams do we care about the franchising of professional rugby anymore? It's not really to do with relocation. --ThirdEdition 03:48, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

If the use of the term "franchise" instead of "club" in the rugby association is simply a choice of words with no difference in substance, there's no need to discuss it anywhere. If they are called "franchises" rather than "clubs" because of a lack of promotion and relegation, the discussion presumably could be moved to promotion and relegation. If there is another substantive difference between a sports "franchise" and a "club," the redirect at the sports franchising article should be replaced with an article that explains the difference. -- Mwalcoff 04:00, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I had replaced it with a dab article before reading this. Feel free to improve it. (But yes, I think we do care - the problem is where we care! --Concrete Cowboy 13:30, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Potential misconception?[edit]

"In Europe, this sort of move is very rare. This is due to the different relationship between clubs and their league. In most sports, teams can be relegated from their current league down to a lower one, or promoted up a league to the one above. Clubs are closely linked to their geographical base, with fans forming emotional links with 'their' town's team."

I think the last sentence here includes a possible misconception -- that somehow there is no strong geographical fan loyalty in the U.S. I would disagree strongly with this. Fan loyalty is why "franchise free agency" is so unpopular in the U.S. and why the Browns move generated a fan revolt comparable to the reaction of Manchester United fans to the change in ownership. I think the difference in Europe is that the "pyramid" system allows for so many pro teams that every city capable of financially supporting a team already has one, and most likely several. England has, if I'm not mistaken, 92 pro soccer teams in a country of 50 million people, while the NFL has only 32 teams for 300 million people. -- Mwalcoff 23:30, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I dont want to get into a pointless debate about who loves their team more, but I would ask the following question. If the attachment is so strong in America, why do fans let such moves happen. Why arent the owners killed basically?!!!! I exaggerate but not too much. Jameswilson 01:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

The same reason Man U fans "let" Glazer buy the team. What choice did they have, save murdering the owner? And I'm sure some people tried with Modell. For fear of his personal safety, he hasn't been back to Cleveland since 1995, and I believe he had to hire a bodyguard while the move was going on. -- Mwalcoff 07:38, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
OK - I think this is a common European misconception. Why not change it to say that it is rare due to the systen if promotion and relegation, so that those who want to develop new 'franchises' can take over smaller clubs and invest in them, rather than having to move an existing one? Robdurbar 08:30, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Looks good; I just tweaked it a little. -- Mwalcoff 08:41, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I've added a bit on the lack of governing bodies in the US - having thought about it I think that is more important than the promotion/relegation thing. Or rather, the latter follows on from the former.

The only reason I can see that there are so few teams in the US (given the size/wealth of the country) is that the existing insiders within the professional game determine the format. I'm sure that if there was a governing body (taking a more general view) it would have expanded the pro game to 200+ cities long ago, doubtless against the opposition of the existing professional teams, and some sort of promotion/relegation system would quickly have followed. Jameswilson 01:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually, there are hundreds of pro baseball and hockey teams. But there are a limited number of major-league baseball and hockey teams.
To assume that the British/European system would have developed in North America had a governing body existed is deterministic -- like assuming every culture is predestined to develop forks, and it's only some artificial constraint that kept East Asians using chopsticks. I don't want to make any assumptions about why the North American system developed as it did. I'd prefer just to say the U.S. lacks promotion and relegation rather than try to find some root cause for that. -- Mwalcoff 01:41, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
By the way, baseball does have an organziation that covers all of the pro teams except for MLB and "wildcat" independent teams. It used to be called the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues; now it's just called Minor League Baseball. That organization (or MLB) could, theoretically, adopt promotion and relegation, but it would never fly. The owner of a AAA team, who spent $10 million on the club, wouldn't want to risk dropping to a lower league, where his investment would depreciate immediately. The leagues wouldn't want to see a AAA team in a big city with a big stadium replaced by an AA team in Podunk, Arkansas with rickety old bleachers.
I'm no lawyer, but I would guess that an attempt to create an organzation that would have authority over all major, minor and amateur teams in a sport -- and do things like impose P&R against the will of some team owners -- would violate antitrust laws like crazy. -- Mwalcoff 01:46, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, its difficult to argue with your expertise. But the point I'm trying to understand is that in America that owner who has spent $10 million (with his colleagues) have the power to keep out new entrants. Thats the difference. That is the anti-trust issue surely? Its like giving Ford and GM the power to stop any new manufacturer springing up. Jameswilson 02:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I don't know which is more anticompetitive: operating a closed cartel of 30 teams or trying to assert control over the whole sport in a country. The leagues would tell you that the best comparision would not be like Ford or GM trying to stop a new carmaker but McDonalds or Subway limiting the number of franchises it has. McDonald's is under no obligation to award you a franchise, but it can't stop you from opening up a Burger King. Similarly, the NFL doesn't have to accept a 33rd team, but it can't try to prevent other people from operating a competing football league. This is what the United States Football League's antitrust case with the NFL was about; the USFL claimed the NFL was trying to run it into the ground. -- Mwalcoff 02:32, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Within the context of this specific topic, the closed cartel is certainly much more anti-competitive, because it is the top thirty-two owners not allowing anyone else in unless the newcomer buys one of them out, and restricting the number of franchises to 32 so that there is a premium on their asset.
  • The contrast would be Jack Walker spending millions to take his home-town club, Blackburn Rovers, up through the divisions and win the Premier League title. As far as I can see, he couldnt have done that if he had been an American Football fan because he would have been shut out.
  • BTW, I'm not having a go at your favourite sport per se. It would just be better if membership of the elite were defined by performance on the pitch! Which is probably a little naive of me. I must admit that Jack Walker had to throw a lot of money at the big clubs in the form of transfer fees to get his success. But it wasnt so blatant as buying a franchise! Jameswilson 03:21, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
As a fan of Cleveland sports teams, I'm glad there's no P&R in the U.S. If there was, the Indians, Browns and Cavs would be playing in the fourth division by now. -- Mwalcoff 23:33, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I've thought of another reason why P&R would be unlikely to work in the U.S. In England, you've got only a few really major urban aggolmerations -- London, Birmingham and Manchester/Liverpool. It's pretty likely that with 20 teams, you're going to get at least one Premier League team in each market. In the U.S., you've got 15 or so "big markets" of 4 million or more people. If, say, MLB had P&R, what happens if the Boston Red Sox are relegated and the Toledo Mud Hens promoted? Now there's no team in one of the biggest media markets. The value of the league TV contract goes way down -- games involving a team in Boston are going to get better ratings than games involving a team from Toledo. The Mud Hens are going to get far less money from their local TV contract and sales of corporate suites than the Sox are. This is why the NFL is so desperate to get a team back in LA. -- Mwalcoff 02:40, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Since the UK is about the same size as California alone, has about three-fifths the population and about five-thirds the GDP, US to UK is not a good match. US to Europe is a better match — still not great but good enough for fantasy football <grin> (i.e., it's never going to happen!) There are certainly enough cities with more than the 1M population that meets your criteria. There is a "European Super League" called the UEFA Champions League for the top flight teams from each nation. But the teams play in this as well as, not instead of, their national premier leagues. Of course rumours abound that the top flight clubs would like a permanent closed league along US lines — see article G-14 and many newspaper articles. --Concrete Cowboy 13:31, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

League position in closed/franchised league[edit]

Am I correct in believing that league position is only a matter of pride in closed/franchised leagues? If a team can't be relegated, there is no penalty for coming bottom? Did I also read somewhere that the bottom clubs are even rewarded with first pick of the new top-flight players? Are players "bought" and "sold" between clubs like in Europe? --Concrete Cowboy 12:34, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

You are correct in that there is no penalty for finishing last in a North American sports league. Also, as you say, the worst team in the NFL gets the first draft pick the next year. The NBA and NHL have "draft lotteries," in which all the non-playoff teams get a chance at getting the first draft pick, ensuring that no team will lose on purpose late in the year to get a higher pick. There was an NFL game last year between the 49ers and Texans that was called the "Reggie Bush Bowl," because the loser was likely to finish with the worst record in the league and have the chance to draft the Heisman Trophy winner. But no team ever admits to wanting to lose, and I don't think an NFL team has ever been accused of laying down to try to get a higher draft pick.
The exchange of players for money is very rare in the U.S. Generally, players are traded for other players and draft picks. It's funny -- I asked a question on Talk:Transfer (football) as to whether European soccer players are ever traded for each other. -- Mwalcoff 23:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Just to elaborate on the "rewarding" of teams that finish poorly with higher draft picks.
It flows from the closed membership of the franchise-based-league. For various reasons, including media markets, revenue sharing between the teams, and good old-fashioned ticket sales,a strong competitive balance between the teams is usually considered desirable. A team that can't compete becomes a drain on the other teams as they wind up lowering TV ratings, ticket sales and become a net reciever of shared revenues. Teams that can compete late into the season, as well as on "any given sunday," as Pete Rozelle put it, are far preferable
So, if a team stinks one year, the can quickly rebuild by getting a key player or two in the draft, with the poorly playing team getting first crack at their preffered player in order to ensure that the worst team gets the biggest boost, and therefore helps restore the competitive balance. As said, the draft picks are also tradeable to other teams in exchange for players, so a team with a good draft pick can also use them to secure an established player if that's what they feel they need.--oknazevad 06:33, 27 April 2006 (UTC)


I am removing the entire section about the Australian National Rugby League, since none of the teams listed has relocated: it's rather a list of newly-created teams, or mergers between existing teams. mgekelly 20:06, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

so-called Franchising[edit]

So what do people mean by "franchising" in England? What does it mean to sports fans or politicians (not lawyers, I'm sure) to say that one particular move is not "franchising"? What did "Franchise F.C." mean? Is it just identity talk, amounting to this is like the United States and that's bad?

In USA, "franchise" is a faux technical name for the business, and "club" is another (one also used in England). Regarding USA team sports, Americans repeatedly make mistakes supposing that they can identify franchises all the way back to 1871 if not 1845. --P64 00:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

It is a false term for club relocation. It is based on a fundamental (deliberate?) misunderstanding of the US Baseball system of Professional sports league organization, where the league is a big business that sells franchises to a city that wants to be in major league sports, just like Starbucks would sell a coffee shop franchise. This is a complete fiction. What happened to Wimbledon F.C. was it began to get into financial difficulties because of falling attendances. The London market was saturated with top flight clubs, the population of London was declining and the owners realised that they had a choice of finding a new market or go bust. So they relocated.
The problem is that the converse value system has it that the community owns the club: the legal owners are merely the trustees. So relocation is not acceptable and they'd rather see the club die first.
Well that is one interpretation and I'm sure that others will want to add their view on it. --Concrete Cowboy 23:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Thus some (who are influential here) believe that the Football Association or a major competitions (Premier League?) relocated the club? Or they believe the holder of a Starbucks franchise in USA may pick up and relocate?
Since Concrete Cowboy (thanks for trying) suspects a deliberate misunderstanding, I doubt that others welcome this explanation anyway. --P64 14:47, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Possibly the most serious conspiracy theorists believe that, but most former Wimbledon supporters believe that the FA (which is really the association of owners) didn't try to stop it. It's a culture clash: the owners believe that they can do what they like with their own property versus the "tribal loyalty" view that this is our club and the owner only holds it in trust. In this case, they believe that the parallel is the position in the USA where cities that want Major League Football or Baseball have paid for teams to relocate - see main article. --Concrete Cowboy 12:16, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


Maybe it will be useful to entertain these thoughts. The Premier League and other leagues, conferences, and divisions nominally comprising FA members are not organizations at all. Instead they are competitions, annual ones as it happens. The Football Association itself is the organization. Think about this as the model --an abstraction, of course not literally true, because some organization is needed to run each of the big annual competitions.

Elsewhere I hinted this way, asking what it means that the FA controls the Premier League but the second to fourth divisions (composing Football League) are independent. And asking what it means that every professional club must join the FA. --P64 15:02, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

(Oops, I posted here by mistake, imagining that this was the discussion of Professional sports league organization. Hey, most of the users are the same.) --P64 00:45, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

No, clubs from Premier League all the way down to Sunday League are members of the FA. They are also members of each specific league - formally they are elected to it. The Premier League manages itself. The Football League manages levels 2,3,4 (Championship to League Two). The leagues below are called Non-league. Well, you did ask! --Concrete Cowboy 12:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


While I am here, consider another idea. Having a franchise in a league is having a vote. Think voting member, not Starbucks. The truth, I suppose, is that both meanings of franchise in ordinary English support the colloquial USAmericanism franchise (in a league) for a club that is a member of a league (on the American model that is still poorly specified).

By the way, before visiting wikipedia last month I have supposed that "franchise" in American sports land is derived from the "vote" meaning. --P64 00:42, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Relocation of what?[edit]

Maybe the article should be renamed "Relocation in team sports".

If it remains more specifically "Relocation of ... teams" then it may be unnecessary to get bogged down in franchise and membership because the article should focus on relocation of the control over players (the team). If players are free to move to the new location or seek employment elsewhere, what is the point? Maybe the logo, nickname, fight song?

Re the move to Milton Keynes, did Wimbledon move only logo, nickname, fight song? or also some control over players?

Without any expectation that the players generally remain in place from one season to the next, would anyone support promotion and relegation? Maybe not. A crucial question about historical development of the so-called European system may be, How was expectation of team stability based on generally immobile society (Sussex CCC will return next year with the same players because the players will naturally continue to live in Sussex) transformed to expectation of stability based on agreement (however implemented, rivals of Sussex CCC have agreed not to sign 2006 Sussex players to 2007 contracts without Sussex permission)? --P64 01:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Are you saying that this article should deal with the relocation of players rather than clubs/franchises? I think that is another issue.
When Wimbledon moved to MK the players' contracts with the club were still valid. This would be the case with employee contracts if a company moved premises.
There isn't an expectation that players will remain in the same place from season to season in football (soccer). This is especially true if a team is relegated as the best players will look to change clubs to stay in the same division. However, most players will remain at the same club from season to season, but the players don't make the club. Stability of the list of contracted players isn't the issue.
I don't know how much you know about county cricket, but it's a bad example for the 'European system' because the are four competitions. Sussex could play in Division 2 in the National League, in Division 1 in the County Championship and in the Twenty20 Cup and C&G Trophy there are no divisions (based on performance). Before 1999 there were no divisions in any competition and the same 18 major counties compete every year. --ThirdEdition 04:12, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Bad wording?[edit]

Accuse me of bias, but I take offense at the following:

This implies that the Dodgers moved to the West Coast, and then someone thought offhand that travel could be made easier, so the Giants moved with them. As a self-proclaimed baseball scholar, especially about the Giants, I know that this is certainly not the case. What really happened is a long story in which Minneapolis features prominently, but I don't want to go into details.

Anyhow, I propose the following text:

I've seen this problem elsewhere on the Internet, and I think this wording is more neutral. Unless anyone has an objection, I'm being bold and changing it. ¿SFGiДnts! 03:34, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Note: The text being referred to first appeared in this revision, and the specific bias problems being referred to first appeared in this revision. ¿SFGiДnts! 03:34, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistent style?[edit]

I've noticed throughout the article that, in some places, the full team name is linked (Philadelphia Athletics, Baltimore Bullets), whereas in others, just the city name is linked (Buffalo Braves), and there also seems to be some disagreement as to whether to simply note the city move or note the new team name where applicable. For the NHL section (which I know), I set out a consistent style that amalgamated these things as much as possible. Other editors may agree or disagree with it, but it is, at least, consistent. 15:10, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Should Horwich be included?[edit]

The UK football section includes a bullet item referring to the relocation of a team called Horwich. It appears that this is a 'semi-professional' team, not a full-time professional outfit. If this is so, do they belong in this article? Ferg2k (talk) 15:30, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

The part on the United Kingdom contains a large amount of opinion and states no references and contains brackets to show opinion. C. 22468 Talk to me 18:31, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Miami Marlins is Dubious[edit]

First, they moved less than 15 miles from Miami Gardens to Miami. That's not a significant distance.

Second, if this relocation is noteworthy, then you'd have to also include the Miami Dolphins move in 1987. They made the exact same move in reverse when they went from the Orange Bowl (where Marlins Stadium now stands) to Sun Life Stadium. I'd wager few would considered that a relocation.

The change of the Marlins name and uniforms had more to do with re-branding than a physical move. (talk) 04:32, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

After looking at the article's criteria for a relocated franchise, I've decided the Marlins fall under city to suburb move that does not qualify and have deleted it. (talk) 04:37, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Completely agreed. One would pretty much have to include every time a team moved to a new stadium if we were to include the Marlins. The Phoenix Coyotes and (modern) Ottawa Senators would be similar moves to a suburb within the MSA, and those are not listed. Nor should they be. Resolute 17:24, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

"this list does not include"[edit]

"Moves of teams that as of 2014 no longer exist." - I note that the section on the NHL does indeed include teams that no longer exist: the original Senators, Pirates, Tigers, etc. Either those teams should be removed from the list, or remove that statement from the conditions ahead of the league sections. Echoedmyron (talk) 16:40, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Relocation of professional sports teams[edit]

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