The Last Capitalist

A site dedicated to restoring individualism in the United States of America

More Sports Nonsense

Posted by jemartynowski on August 5, 2008

Another “journalist” for ESPN.com has decided to speak out against Personal Seat Licensesfor professional sports teams.  This time the anti-capitalist is Jemele Hill for ESPN.com’s Page 2.  At least she understands enough not to throw all the blame on the owners, because she mentions the fans’ lust for sports and their willingness to pay ridiculous amounts of money to see them.  However, she still seems angry at these owners and makes just plain stupid comments about the situation. 

Let’s point out the obvious exaggerations to make her point.  First, she mentions how MLB All Star Game tickets have doubled in price in one year.  Hmm, San Francisco’s AT&T Park vs. Yankees Stadium in its final year of existence:  which do you think will cost more?  Logic, people.  She then talks about the face value of last year’s Super Bowl tickets vs. what they cost on the open market.  That’s like comparing the value of a stock at its IPO vs what it’s price is on the secondary market.  It’s face value at IPO is worthless as soon as it enters the market.  As a matter of fact, the value the NFL put on those Super Bowl tickets must have been a gift to the fans, seeing as their real value was more than twice their face value.

The fundamental problem we have here is that people either don’t like or don’t understand Capitalism.  She cannot argue about the value of something if somebody is willing to pay that much for it.  The value is set right there.  It is inarguable.  Another recent article by someone at SI.com was trying to determine what the value of European soccer players was. 

Gabriele Marcotti wrote a couple of articles trying to figure what the value of high-priced players could possibly be.  He says that clubs are overpaying some players and not getting what they paid for them.  How can he say that?  He even goes so far as to say Capitalism doesn’t work right (first paragraph of linked article).  He tries to do the accounting of it and says that these players can’t be worth it because of their resale value.  Umm, isn’t the most important thing for these people the dollars they bring in from marketing, television rights, and, uhh, winning?  Marcotti barely glances at those things and when he does, he seems clueless.  He talks about how increased television dollars and box office sales are barely anything.  I’ll bet they’re more important than you think, Mr. Marcotti.  Plus, commercial deals and marketing he values pretty low at $10 to $15 million. 

I think the best (worst?) part is where he argues that you can’t quantify the value of those players when it comes to winning, saying that Manchester United might have won the league last year without Ronaldo.  That’s a joke, people.  No chance without him.  Add the Champions League. Winning those titles increases the value of the club by tons of cash, which can be valued at what?  Open market value.

I’m getting off topic.  Marcotti is right that there is an unwritten amount to place on these players, but that’s part of the gamble.  Jemele Hill makes some good points when it comes to the tax dollars we are fronting for these stadiums.  Of course we shouldn’t pay for these things, but then again, we vote to do it.  I just want to point out that people seem to have no faith in the free market capitalist system, but their arguments make no sense.  Was the price determined by free, voluntary exchange?  If so, it’s fair.

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