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The Big Leagues Go to WashingtonCongress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989$
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David George Surdam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039140

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.001.0001

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A Look Back at the Hearings

A Look Back at the Hearings

(p.239) Conclusion A Look Back at the Hearings
The Big Leagues Go to Washington

David George Surdam

University of Illinois Press

This conclusion discusses the aftermath of the Congressional hearings. During the hearings, the owners' general prerogatives survived essentially intact, although free agency of some sort was imminent in all sports by 1976. Legislators did not repudiate the reserve clause, the reverse-order draft, or territorial rights, despite their qualms regarding these institutions. The legislators and their aides missed some opportunities to subject the team financial data from the 1950s to analysis, which could have shed light on such questions as the effects of revenue sharing. Some fans gained when their hometown landed an expansion or existing franchise, while other fans lost when legislators did not prevent franchise relocation. Congress has held several hearings in the intervening decades since 1989. The professional sports leagues have also evolved. Technology has altered the landscape.

Keywords:   free agency, Congressional hearings, reserve clause, reverse-order draft, revenue sharing, franchise relocation, Congress, professional sports leagues, technology, territorial rights

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