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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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We Want More Baseball and Football 1959 and 1960

We Want More Baseball and Football 1959 and 1960

(p.101) 7 We Want More Baseball and Football 1959 and 1960
The Big Leagues Go to Washington

David George Surdam

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the Congressional hearings conducted in 1959 and 1960 to address the issue of expansion and prospective new leagues. All of the league constitutions contained clauses pertaining to relocating or selling existing franchises and creating new franchises. These clauses typically required a supermajority, in some cases unanimity, of owners to approve franchise relocation or sales and expansion. However, incumbent owners were lukewarm about franchise expansion and hostile towards new leagues. This chapter begins with a discussion of tactics employed by team owners to prevent the entry of a new league, including territorial rights. It then considers the demise of the Continental League due to a number of hurdles, such as getting television contracts, providing pension benefits equivalent to Major League Baseball's (MLB) scheme, and and getting stadiums. It also examines the expansion policies of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), along with the legal wrangling between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL) over expansion.

Keywords:   franchise expansion, Congressional hearings, franchise relocation, territorial rights, Continental League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, American Football League

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