May the Best Team Win, a new book from the Brookings Institution Press, shows how the business of baseball runs counter to the game’s wholesome image. Almost every economic issue in the game—relocating teams, negotiating labor contracts, raising ticket prices—involves baseball’s presumed exemption from the nation’s antitrust laws that allows owners to operate the industry as an unregulated, legal monopoly. Despite some recent management improvements, the baseball monopoly continues to lead to abuses and inefficiency, according to Zimbalist, who argues that the game’s future is uncertain unless corrective steps are taken quickly.
Panelists will discuss the effects of the anti-trust exemption as it applies to league expansion and contraction, how the league accounts for itself financially, the fragile nature of collective bargaining agreements, competition in cable markets, the stadium issue, and finally how these problems can be improved through new policies and legislation.
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