Sports Econ Blog


The Art of Tanking the NBA Draft

Interview with NPR Marketplace. NBA tanking graphic. Actual Draft Order. I’m working on a story about the NBA lottery, but not really the normal sports story. We’re looking at why the NBA does it this way, why people think it’s rigged, and what the economic gains of having the number one pick are (or could be). The…

Posted by on May 14, 2019 in National Basketball Association, Sports Econ Blog


Skating on Thin Ice

The big market clubs in NYC (MSG), LA (Staples) and Chicago (United) are noticeably absent from the NHL and NBA playoffs. Toronto Maple Leafs were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs and they haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 50 years.  Why are high revenue clubs not dominating the NBA and NHL as expected?  See 2018 NHL…

Posted by on May 8, 2019 in National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Sports Econ Blog


Post-Season Puzzle

Theory of the Big Dance.  My sh*t doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is f***ing luck. —Billy Beane, GM Oakland Athletics In the first round of the current 2019 NHL playoffs five of the eight higher seeded teams with home ice advantage lost…

Posted by on April 28, 2019 in National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Sports Econ Blog


NFL Draft: Inverse Square Root Rule

Vrooman’s Inverse Square Root Rule in 2019 Draft. In Bloomberg News. Origins of Vrooman’s Rule. Inverse Square-root Rule

Posted by on April 25, 2019 in National Football League, Sports Econ Blog


MLB Pythagorean Gamma Rankings

MLB Pythagorean Gamma 4/15/19. MLB VRX Logit Power Rankings 4/15/19.

Posted by on April 16, 2019 in Major League Baseball


NBA Playoff Match-ups Round 1

NBA VRX Playoff Chances Round 1. NBA VRX Power Pix 3/27/19. NBA VRX Power Pix 3/7/19. NBA VRX Power Picks 2/24/19 NBA VRX Power Picks 1/28/19. NBA VRX Power Rankings 1/15/19.  NBA Power Picks 12/14/18 Basketball Reference Playoff Probabilities

Posted by on April 11, 2019 in National Basketball Association


Both Ends against the Middle

Interview with Charlotte Business Journal. These are numbers from South Carolina Department of Commerce estimating impact of a Panthers training headquarters being built there. Can you give me your perspective on this? The simple problem with the superficial politics of pie in the sky promises of regional impact studies is that they usually imply that…

Posted by on April 8, 2019 in National Football League


NHL Playoff Match-ups Round 1

NHL Playoff Probabilities 4/7/19 NHL VRX Power Pix 3/27/19. NHL VRX Power Pix 3/7/19. NHL VRX Power Picks 2/24/19. NHL VRX Power Picks 2/7/19. NHL VRX Picks: 1/16/19.  NHL-V-Power Picks:12/20/18.

Posted by on April 7, 2019 in National Hockey League


VRX Final 4 Match-ups

NCAA Final 4 Win Probability Matrix 2019 School (Seed) Virginia Michigan State Texas Tech Auburn Virginia (2) … 51.5% 57.5% 59.0% Michigan State (6) 48.5% … 56.0% 57.5% Texas Tech (9) 42.5% 44.0% … 51.5% Auburn (18) 41.0% 42.5% 48.5% … P(win) row v column. John Vrooman/Vanderbilt University Win Probability Matrix. Final 4 VRX Quick Pix / Final 4 VRX…

Posted by on April 6, 2019 in NCAA Basketball


The Going Free Agent Rate

The Going Rate for the 2019 Free Agent (Tier 3) monopoly market. After all is said and done the present values of the 2 deals for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are about the same at around $200 million in 2019. The going rate for appears to be around $7.5 million PV per WAR in large…

Posted by on March 9, 2019 in Major League Baseball, Sports Econ Blog


Azteca West

Interview with San Diego Union-Tribune. I’m working on a story about SDSU’s Mission Valley stadium with the news hook that it’s signed a $250M contract with Clark Construction Company. I was hoping to pick your brain on a few things. – What do you make of Clark Construction Company? What does the selection signal, if…

Posted by on March 2, 2019 in NCAA Football


Labor Market Twist

Part 2 of Interview with CNBC; Sequel to “The Baseball Way.” Source: Sportsman Leagues. The Going Rate. Harper and Machado Present Value Contracts both $200 million. What kind of revenue sharing does major league baseball need to have to make more teams competitive and as a result make more teams bid more on free agents? Why does…

Posted by on February 23, 2019 in Major League Baseball


The Baseball Way

Part 1 of Interview with CNBC; Prequel to Labor Market Twist. The GRID. Source: Labor Market Reconsidered. What would you say is the biggest challenge that Major League Baseball has to face this season from a business/ economical perspective? There is no quick and easy demand-side fix for the chronic issues of MLB outliving the demographics of its…

Posted by on February 17, 2019 in Major League Baseball

Super Bowl LIII Logo

Super Bowl LIII VRX Pick

NFL VRX Super Bowl Pick 1/22/19. NFL VRX Round 3 Picks 1/14/19. NFL VRX Round 2 Picks 1/11/19. NFL V-Power Picks 1/6/19. NFL V-Power Picks 1/1/19. NFL Power Picks 12/25/18. NFL Power Picks 12/18/18. NFL Power Picks 12/11/18. NFL Power Picks 12/4/18. NFL Power Picks 11/27/18. Upshot: Playoff Simulator. NFL Mid-Season Power Picks 2018.  

Posted by on February 1, 2019 in National Football League


Money for Nothin’

Interview with Charlotte Biz Journal. L.A. All-Star Game Impact Study 2018. I’m working on some stories about the NBA All-Star Game coming here this month and wanted to ask about a couple of items. *The first is, the NBA estimates 150,000 visitors during the weekend of events. What do you think of that estimate given…

Posted by on February 1, 2019 in National Basketball Association


Rival Leagues Rising

Interview with TSN (The Sports Network) . What factors have led to the the creation/planning of at least three alternative professional football leagues — AAF, XFL, FFL? The NFL is a stone cold monopoly league (one seller) in the fans product market (gate and media) and monopsony (one buyer) cartel in the players’ labor market. The…

Posted by on January 31, 2019 in National Football League


Nothing More or Less

Interview with Arizona Republic. The Phoenix Suns have been asking Phoenix to update its city-owned arena for years, and late last year, they brokered a deal that would have the city paying $150 million and the Suns paying $80 million. Unsurprisingly to me (but apparently surprising to the team and the city), the public was…

Posted by on January 18, 2019 in National Basketball Association


Elephant in the Room

Interview with Bloomberg News. / NFL Draft Graphics. Given your expertise in NFL and its CBA, curious if you might be able to do some rough calculations on how much Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence might be losing out on by having to spend at least the next two seasons in college before being eligible for the NFL…

Posted by on January 10, 2019 in National Football League, NCAA Football


NCAA-F VRX Bowl Season Picks

Updated V-Power Picks 1/7/19. Updated V-Power Picks 1/1/19. Updated V-Power Picks 12/30/18. Updated V-Power Picks 12/27/18. Updated V-Power Picks 12/26/18. Updated V-Power Picks 12/24/18. Updated FBS V-Power Results 12/21/18. FBS V-Power Bowl Picks. V-power picks: Slow start. Taking and Giving Points. Bowl-Season Picks and Point Spreads. FBS Logit Power Picks 12/2/18  

Posted by on January 7, 2019 in NCAA Football


Pac-12 For Sale

Interview with Inside Higher Ed./ Pac-12 NewCo. I wondered if you had some time to hop on the phone today to chat about this: The idea of a private investor in the Pac-12 (nonprofit) is interesting to me. Also happy to accept your thoughts by email. Pac-12 NewCo. sounds interesting but I doubt the plan…

Posted by on January 4, 2019 in NCAA Football


Panther Power

Interview with Charlotte Observer. -What would you say are the biggest advantages/opportunities of moving practice facilities (adjacent to BofA Stadium) and offices (inside stadium) to somewhere else offsite? The Panthers are simply keeping up with the Jonses by building separate practice facilities, which in this case probably involves a covered facility and offices exclusively controlled…

Posted by on December 20, 2018 in National Football League


Weird Is Good

Leader/Guard—Joe Toye. Weird Is Good—Phillip McGloin

Posted by on December 19, 2018 in NCAA Basketball


Rays Ball Park Limbo

Interview with Tampa Bay Times. Stadium deals in MLB and NFL.pdf I wondered if you would be willing to give some perspective on the collapse of the Rays deal. The questions I have are: Does this look like a play by the Rays to get a better deal? Yes. These moves/threats are all part of…

Posted by on December 12, 2018 in Major League Baseball


CFP Playoff Power Picks

Power 5 Conference Playoff Picks. FBS Logit Power Picks 11/25/18. FBS Logit Power Picks 11/18/18. FBS Logit Power Picks 11/11/18. CFP Rankings ESPN Playoff Predictor  

Posted by on November 25, 2018 in NCAA Football


The Puck Stops Here

Interview with AP / USAToday.  Followup AP / Second Class Settlement? We are hoping someone like yourself can walk us through how the NFL and NHL concussion settlements are different and why. The NFL agreed to a billion-dollar settlement. It seems the NHL players got just $19 million (we are still working to confirm that number on the record,…

Posted by on November 12, 2018 in National Hockey League


San Antonio Chargers

Interview with San Antonio Business Journal. Our mayor has indicated that San Antonio leaders should reach out to Los Angeles Chargers ownership, in light of that team’s severe struggles in finding support in the City of Angels. Do you believe there is merit to San Antonio at least initiating dialogue with the Chargers/why? Yes because…

Posted by on November 7, 2018 in National Football League


MLB Playoff Power Picks

Vroom-Daddy MLB 2018 Postseason Picks Gamma v. Logit MLB Picks ESPN MLB post-season picks

Posted by on September 25, 2018 in Major League Baseball


Power 4 Super-League

Interview with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 9/6/2018. (pdf) (xls) Pitt made $26.3 million from the ACC in the 2016-17 fiscal year while Connecticut — a former conference mate in the Big East that is now in the American Athletic Conference, a league Pitt may well have ended up in had it not landed in the ACC — made…

Posted by on September 7, 2018 in NCAA Football


Jerry’s World

Interview with Bloomberg News. Cowboys Stadium 2010. Do you have any estimates on how much Arlington has spent on pro sports since first building the (first) Rangers stadium? My estimates show about $960 million, which include $135 million in bonds for the 1994 Rangers stadium, $325 million for the Cowboys stadium, and $500 million for…

Posted by on August 22, 2018 in National Football League


Zoo Effect

Interview with Alabama Media Group (Mobile). I wanted to ask you if a city like Mobile (population near 200K, with a regional population over 400K) needs to be more aggressive and focused in addressing new stadium or sports venue construction projects. Or, do you think Mobile is smart by not forking over any taxpayer money…

Posted by on August 22, 2018 in Major League Baseball


Big League Swap

Interview with Nashville Biz Journal. What makes Nashville a compelling city for a potential MLB team? Why would Manfred include it on his list – however speculative it is? There are 3 basic layers of MLB market potential. The top “automatic” home markets have a market size greater than 2 million TV households (e.g. Atlanta). Second…

Posted by on July 18, 2018 in Major League Baseball


Sunshine Paradox

Interview with Tampa Tribune. Fan-Age PDF Do you have any perspective on what could be behind the more than 5 percent decline in MLB attendance? The entertainment dollar in the sports industry across the board is becoming very competitive very rapidly. All major sports are experiencing a secular and regional aging in fan demographics. This…

Posted by on July 18, 2018 in Major League Baseball


What’s in a Name?

Interview with Tampa Bay Times. How much (estimate) could the Rays get for the naming rights of a new ballpark in Tampa? The current going rate for naming rights for MLB Parks in a Tampa sized market is probably in the $8 million to $10 million annual range for a 25-year to 30-year term, and…

Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Major League Baseball


World Cup of Political Football

Interview with Pacific Standard / (PDF Graphs). Football 365 requote. Direktno requote. In general, what does hosting a World Cup mean for the economy of the host country? Most countries, when vying for the right to host the tournament, tout the influx of tourism dollars and infrastructure investment that will theoretically boost the economy, but is that often…

Posted by on June 20, 2018 in UEFA Football


The Closing Window

Interview with the New York Times. PDF and Images. Roger Noll of Stanford had some pretty good stuff today on how the Knights’ miraculous run “attenuates the honeymoon effect,” from the typical three-year window for expansion teams in non-traditional hockey markets. 1) Is that something you generally agree with? Yes I mentioned that in print…

Posted by on June 10, 2018 in National Hockey League


Revolving Revolution

Interview with Columbus Dispatch. Back in 2012, the city and the county purchased what was then a privately held arena, relying on casino tax money to prop up arena operations, repay loans used in the purchase and pay for capital repairs. Those tax receipts have fallen well short of projections, and the arena has no…

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in National Hockey League


Tamp Em Up Solid

Interview with Tampa Bay Times. Location theory. If the Rays new ballpark has about 600,000 more fans within a 15 mile radius, what might that do to their average attendance? Total MLB attendance remains a variable function of market size, venue capacity and team quality, but according to this simple location theory metric, an increase…

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Major League Baseball


Piece of Integrity

Interview with CBS. I am writing on integrity fees. Are the pro leagues and NCAA entitled to them?  Is so, what should they cover? The Big 4 professional leagues and the 2 quasi-professional NCAA revenue sports are seeking a piece of sports betting action, and it can easily be argued that they are not necessarily…

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in National Football League


Bargain Price

Interview with Charlotte Observer. (Sporting News) -What benefit might David Tepper see in bringing in minority owners if he technically doesn’t need any (financially speaking)? David Tepper will be certainly more fan friendly and way more accessible to the media than “Mister” Richardson. In terms of the overall Panthers fan experience this should be a positive…

Posted by on May 16, 2018 in National Football League


Sure Thing

Interview with Las Vegas Sun. -Is downsizing new stadiums projects and increasing technology and amenities the best way to comate the ever improving at-home game experience? Welcome to the new NFL where smart luxury stadiums are economically designed to maximize team profit rather than fan welfare. The general downsizing trend in the NFL is consistent…

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in National Football League


Yum Center Reboot

Interview with Louisville Courier-Journal. Top 10 Revenues and Salaries. I’m just wondering about what the Yum Center will be like and how it will be perceived by the community in 30 years, when the bonds are scheduled to be paid off. Can you weigh in with any perspective? The new luxury arenas have at least…

Posted by on May 4, 2018 in NCAA Basketball


Mystery Ticket Shortage

Interview with Toronto Star. We’re revealing that MLSE has designated an unknown number of season ticket holders “commercial resellers” and marked up their tickets 30% for next season. They also offer to cancel the markup if the ticket holder joins a “preferred reseller program” which hasn’t been well defined yet, but many suspect will involve…

Posted by on April 11, 2018 in National Hockey League


Pay for Play

Complete Interview (XL) with Bloomberg Law. The proposed superficial symptom-treating political solution to the economic exploitation of athletes at all levels is logistically problematic and probably counterproductive. The economic problem of exploitation of athletes derives directly from the vertically integrated monopsony power of the NCAA but more deeply from the monopsony power of the big boy…

Posted by on April 7, 2018 in NCAA Football


Cinderella Paradox

Interview with CBS.  According to the U.S. Department of Education, the school’s athletic revenue and expenses were $13.8 million as of its latest school year.  Do you find it strange that the numbers match up perfectly? This is common accounting practice. Are most of the benefits that Cinderella schools realize fleeting? Yes, but there is…

Posted by on March 28, 2018 in NCAA Basketball


Bottom Big 10

Interview with Bloomberg News. B10 revenue splits. The B10 poverty cycle is the positive feedback loop from winning to talent to revenues to expenditures for the bottom 7 programs. The success cycle is the opposite talent revenue loop for the top 7 programs. This is the major problem in almost all sports where the rich…

Posted by on March 28, 2018 in NCAA Football


Folie de Mars

Interview with French financial paper Challenges. March madness in NCAA college basketball occurs in a natural US sports entertainment vacuum every Spring since the early 1980s. The lack luster NFL free agency period (transfer window) is followed by only a few true US football fanatics, MLB regular season that usually begins after the first of April…

Posted by on March 28, 2018 in NCAA Basketball


Monopoly Money

Interview with Charlotte Observer. — How much of a concern are the upcoming CBA and TV contracts for a possible buyer of an NFL franchise?  The strength of sports union varies inversely with the length of the CBA. Largely because of the relatively short careers of its players (3.3 years), the NFLPA is by far…

Posted by on March 23, 2018 in National Football League


League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Interview with Crains Business NY. NFL Economics Stat Pack.  Clearly there are threats to the NFL’s business model as it now stands. Rights costs are generally out of synch with ratings and ad revenue, and the dangers of CTE could push young players and their parents away from the game in the coming years. My…

Posted by on March 8, 2018 in National Football League


Goldman Goes Global

Interview with Dutch Newspaper,  Algemeen Dagblad (AD Netherlands) Below is the Feyenoord Stadium deal as best I can gather from the internet compared to the most recent NFL stadium deal in Las Vegas for the Oakland Raiders. Goldman Sachs was also the original lead bank on the Raiders deal but pulled out probably due to internal…

Posted by on March 7, 2018 in UEFA Football


Devil in the Details

Interview with Austin Biz Journal. MLS Stadium Deals Does the $400 million ‘community benefit’ impact over the club’s first 25 years seem plausible given other MLS stadium impacts? What supplemental information from the team/MLS would be needed to determine an economic impact? This is impossible to tell without seeing the numbers. Impact studies usually if…

Posted by on March 5, 2018 in Major League Soccer

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