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The love affair between the American public and professional sports dates back more than 100 years to the origins of major league baseball Although rocky at times professional sports enjoy a special relationship between fans and their teams that has prevailed through many a heartbreak At no time in history however has the mood been altered so dramatically as in recent years when the business of sports infiltrated the game Loyalty is waning as fans express discontent with what they perceive as team greed Players salaries have skyrocketed and ticket prices alone cannot cover the colossal payrolls More and more team owners are looking at the sports facility and its ability to make money through dollar signs in their eyes And why not Modern sports facilities are virtual gold mines Gone are the days of simple lease contracts between stadium owners and team owners as the stake in revenues has grown Professional sports are now big business generating billions of dollars each year and decisions are based on the bottom line Many team owners consider stadiums the key to profitable teams and threaten to leave if an old stadium is not upgraded or replaced As a result policymakers are often scrambling to retain their teams This report provides an overview of professional sports and the income capacity of modern facilities It identifies key issues legislators need to address when considering public financing for sports facilities and provides financial details for all current sports venues in the form of a state-by-state chart Professional Sports in the United States Currently in the United States 105 baseball football basketball and hockey teams exist at the major league level Because some teams play in multi-purpose facilities these 105 teams play in 83 different stadiums and arenas located in 24 states and Washington DC Figure 1 States with Major League Professional Sports Teams For the past six years Financial World magazine has conducted a survey of professional sports team values
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