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Lockout Essay - 1 Nick Pulis SPM 205 Lockout Assignment...

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1 Nick Pulis SPM 205 10/3/2011 Lockout Assignment Professional sport leagues throughout the United States are organized and structured with great governance. However, over the course of the last 50 years these sport associations have come across periodic times of disagreement. Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Associations are two that have experienced these hardships. In 1994 Major League baseball experienced the most problematic work stoppage of all-time, while in 1999 the National Basketball Association faced similar challenges. The average attendance was higher than it has been in the last five seasons at 31,612. Matt Williams was on track to break Roger Maris’s record of 61 homeruns in a season that Maris achieved in 1961. Tony Gwynn was batting .394 with a chance to be the first players to bat over .400 for the first time since Ted Williams (Barra, 2009.) To many baseball historians Major League Baseball was in the midst of one of the greatest seasons ever played. This, of course, would be until Randy Johnson’s strikeout on Aug 11 th , 1994 would be the last out for the next seven months (AP ESPN, 2004.) The major reason behind the strike was the financial situation of the United States economy in its entirety. With the United States economy struggling baseball was also feeling the pain. Operating revenue was cut from 1.87 billion in 1993 to 1.2 billion in 1994 (AP ESPN, 2004.) Commissioner Bud Selig reported the strike was apparently caused by “competitive balance – the idea that the ‘big market’ teams were dominating the ‘small market’ teams” (Barra, 2009.) However, what Selig failed to recognize was that these league were more competitive in 1994 than it has been in the last two decades. This
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2 brought officials back to the real reason why the MLB was on strike, money (Barra, 2009.) Due to many major league teams having pay cuts throughout the league team owners wanted to cut everybody’s pay, this included the players. In 1994 the average player was making 1.2 million dollars a season (Barra, 2009.) The owners hoped that they would take a pay cut and force them to agree to a salary cap. Donald Fehr, the leader of the players association, and the rest of the association were not going to deal with the owners of the MLB and decided to walk. After an immense amount of time and controversy the MLB strike would last 232 days and for the first time since 1904 the post season and World Series were cancelled. The Major League Baseball strike of 1994 dramatically impacted both the league and the fan base. First, nearly 950 major-league games were lost due to the strike. The number of games missed financial hurt everybody within every sport organization in America, from the owner down to the ticket booth employee. One must understand how traumatic this very idea is. This means that there were millions and millions of people out of a job. There were more than 800 million dollars in revenue lost in total. 580 million of the owners’ money and almost 230 million in player’s salaries were lost (Barra, 2009.) The economic losses would continue to impact the league for years to come. It would not
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