Why are sports franchises the only businesses that make it the customer’s responsibility to ensure the company is successful?
If I owned a restaurant or a high-tech company that was struggling, I wouldn’t get away with telling the community to start paying up or I might move to another city. And if my product was terrible, the equivalent of a last-place sports team, no one would blame my customers for staying away. And yet, when it’s a sports franchise that isn’t drawing a lot of fans, it’s always interpreted as a statement about the quality of the community rather than the ability of the owner or management of the team.
Even many members of the media play along, asking whether or not the city is a good sports town. Apparently, the sign of a strong community is when people will pay a lot of money to watch a bad team lose. Sports franchises mean a lot more to the community than the average business, and no city wants to lose its team. But the onus should be on ownership and management, not the fans, to make the team successful. When it isn’t, it’s their failure, not ours.