Sports, unlike any other business, generates a sense of civic pride and community identity. New Yorkers don’t cluster around the television to cheer on Wall Street investment bankers; Detroit citizens don’t congregate in bars to watch Ford or GM workers build cars. But rooting for the Yankees and the Tigers and the Knicks and the Pistons is a natural communal activity.
At the amateur level,organized sports, especially with the advent of girls’ sports leagues, involves more active and ongoing citizen involvement than virtually any other activity, including politics and religion. More communities are home to a little league team than to a MacDonalds.
But organized sports is becoming a business, and professional sports has become a business like any other: corporatized, absentee owned, increasingly mobile and disconnected from place.
This web page identifies rules, and models, of organized and professional sports that allow us not only to root for the home team to win, but to root the home team in place.