OTTAWA, May 24, 2011 /CNW/ - The success of teams in North America's
major professional sports leagues are often determined by underlying
competitive conditions that are not always level among member
The latest publication in The Conference Board of Canada's series, Playing in the Big Leagues, analyzes the concept of a level-playing field as it applies to leagues
such as the National Hockey League, National Football League, National
Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Previous briefings in
the series covered the market conditions for franchises, including
those of Winnipeg and Quebec City.
"When looking at a given league, we want to know whether it pays more
than just lip service to creating the conditions for a level playing
field, competitively and financially, among its franchises," said
co-author Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist.
"Sports fans who eagerly hand over their money—and their hearts—to
their favourite team should keep in mind the fact that the underlying
competitive conditions are not always equal."
The Conference Board's fourth briefing in its series, Competitive Conditions in Pro Sports Leagues, identifies four elements of a 'level-playing field':
Salary caps - A salary cap is usually implemented in response to unequal
financial and market power among the league's franchises.
Revenue sharing - A league's approach to sharing of revenue says a great
deal about its underlying business philosophy.
Access to talent - The four major North American pro sports leagues have
largely similar operating models—a common draft for new players and
free agency for veterans who have reached a certain level of seniority.
Special factors - Leagues may choose to act when changes in the exchange
rate, differences in taxation levels from one jurisdiction to another,
or other conditions affect the ability of some franchises to compete.
"In general, the "level playing field" concept is applied by most
leagues when it comes to access to player talent, resulting in entry
drafts, free agency, and the creation of salary caps," said Hodgson.
"But the concept is much less likely to be applied by owners when it
comes to revenue sharing."
This is the fourth briefing in the Playing in the Big Leagues: What Makes a Professional Sports Team
Successful in Canada?, which will continue throughout 2011. The next briefing will look more
closely at competitive conditions in the North American leagues.
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448