A few weeks ago, I was very intrigued by a notification I got on my phone about Adam Silver wanting to change the structure of the NBA Play-offs to include the top 16 teams overall, not top 8 in each division. He said (I stole this from sbnation.com):
“Ultimately we want to see your best teams in the playoffs,” Silver said. “And there is an unbalance and a certain unfairness. There is a proposal where the division winners would all automatically go into the playoffs and then you’d seed the next 10 best teams. I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at. There are travel issues of course, but in this day in age every team of course has their own plane, travels charter. I don’t think the discussion should end there. And as I’ve said, my first year I was studying a lot of these issues and year two is time to take action. It’s something I’m going to look at closely with the competition committee. I do think it’s an area where we need to make a change.”
I thought it was a cool idea… For about a millisecond. Then I remembered, I am a sports economist and I can, pretty quickly, figure out how I feel by running the number (yes, you read that correctly – numbers dictate my feelings). Continue Reading
This is an unpopular topic so I almost don’t want to broach it… but I will (and I’m prepared for the backlash so bring it on).
This month, we watched the Super Bowl (at least, you all did – I was stuck at my old job training my replacement so I had to settle for updating the NFL website whenever she was writing notes or in the bathroom). And after the game a NUMBER of people, both that I know personally and who are total strangers, commented on the half-time show and how US sporting experiences compare to Australian sporting experiences. While many of the comments contained expletives, I will use the nicest one here. They called it “humbling.”
As I have said before, Australian sports can never be and should never be American sports. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for innovation. Continue Reading
Hi. It’s me. I’m back.
So I know I’m a couple weeks late on this one… but after Australia Day on 26th January (Happy Australia Day, by the way) I had a few thoughts. The first one was, “I can’t believe I have to work tonight and can’t partake in the festivities” (I was teaching 2 dance classes in the evening) and the second was, “There has GOT to be a better way to deal with rained out games.”
And I think I have one. Continue Reading
I find it miraculous that teams brag about not changing their ticket prices. When they do this, they’re trying to convince the public that they are trying to make attendance affordable for everyone. Anyone who has been to a game knows that’s not true – the price of food is ABSURD (and we all know that even Andrew Demetriou thinks so).
The point I’m making is: if you’re trying to make it affordable… why don’t you try lowering your ticket prices?
Lots of professional sports leagues, teams and sponsors try to involve children in events in the hopes that they’ll become fans who will support the club for the rest of their life. Not only are they hoping the kids will be fans, but in a perfect world, their parents will become fans (otherwise, who will buy the tickets?) and, by extension, the rest of the family. They do this through a variety of avenues: visits to local schools, workshops with clubs, Aus Kick in the case of the AFL, volunteering with child-focused charities such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and sponsorship activation on game days like bounce houses and face painting and temporary tattoos. Great idea, guys. Good work.
But here’s my question: what happens when these kids grow up?
Just a few thoughts ahead of the ANZAC Day game today.
Earlier this week I was thinking about how nothing brings people together like sport. Except maybe religion… but that tears people apart, too, and in that case people die so let’s just focus on the positive here.
I was really excited the other day when I read a headline for ‘The World’s Most Functional Stadium.’ I thought: great. Very cool. Stadiums in Australia could use a facelift (or two). See, there’s this project (the NSW Stadia Strategy) that is meant to fund stadium building and improvements in NSW in order to improve patron experience. They’re also a bit jealous of Victoria and want to be the new home of international sporting events.
So when I read the details about it I had to ask… who thought this was a good idea?