The Instigator
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The Contender
Pro (for)
11 Points

Small Market Budget Restrictions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2009 Category: Sports
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,003 times Debate No: 6576
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




As baseball season draws near and the last of the free agents are signed, the cry of "small market" teams resonate loudly. Due to budget constraints, they were unable to compete for free agents that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox were able to. It is my opinion that this is by choice and not out of necessity. My favorite team is the Atlanta Braves. They are owned by Time-Warner. Am I to believe that they do not have the resources to compete in the free agent market? Bull. Former owner Ted Turner spent freely and along with a well developed minor league system, the Braves sat atop the NL West for over a decade. I also cite the Seattle Mariners. They are owned by the richest man in Japan (Hiroshi Yamauchi of Nintendo fame). Using the small market excuse for not improving that team rings shallow.
Of course teams like Tampa Bay and Minnesota are the models of fiscal responsibilty. They are able to build from within and put a superior product on the field. However, the majority of the small market teams are profit based and not concerned about the product on the field. Using the small market excuse for fielding a poor product and perennial loser is an insult to their fans. In conclusion, I put forth that small market team is not about population, fan base or media outlets. It is about profit based, arrogant ownership giving their fans a hollow excuse for ripping them off.



My opponent claims that the market does not factor in the fielding of a good product. I strongly disagree because the market is a major part of what a team may field as their product. Small market teams have been successful such as the 2005 Houston Astros, 2007 Colorado Rockies, and the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays who all made it to the World Series and lost. So, it is safe to say that the small market teams have done a better job in scouting and managing their players than big market teams because big market teams can simply buy the best.

Contention 1:
Not all teams have the "Fountain of Financial Freedom"

This means that not all teams have big game owners. In addition, your Atlanta Braves are not a small market team they are more of a intermediate market team for a couple of reasons,

1) The owner of the Atlanta Braves over their postseason run was Ted Turner whose net worth is 2.3 billion dollars.

2) Salary during the run Atlanta has had their fair share of big contracts;
Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Denny Neagle, Tim Hudson, Mark Teixiera(inherited form Texas Rangers), John Smoltz to name a few.

There are other reasons as well.

The luxury tax has maintained little competitive balance due to the fact that small teams can't sign big time players because of the tax they must pay.

Because of these reasons you should vote in favor of the PRO represenative.
Debate Round No. 1


jettyray forfeited this round.


My opponent clearly sees the fact that I was right in all of my claims and that he forfeited the round because he knew he would fail in the argument. So, now I will further extend my claims in the fact that small market teams cannot economically compete with other clubs.
The lack of success by small market teams is evident in the past 10 years. Only the Florida Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks have won a World Series in that span. Two by medium market teams being the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox. The other seven Champions are The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

Because of this rebuttal and none from the opponent. Vote for PRO.
Debate Round No. 2


You made my point for me. If you hold Ted Turner up as an example then what would be the excuse for Seattle's ownership? As I previously stated, Mr. Yamauchi is the richest man in Japan. Splitting financial hairs between small, intermediate and large market teams rings hollow. What is this based on? Population? Fan base? Television market? Using your place in the market as an excuse to not compete is fiscal hocus pocus. I cite reports on the business of baseball. Not one major league team is losing money. They all have revenues of over $120 million per year. And that doesn't even include some of the sweet stadium deals they have.

If you choose not to compete in free agency, that is fine. But be honest about it. Let your fans know that free agency spending is not a part of your business model. Explain to them your alternative plans on how you are going to field a competitive product. Don't insult them/us by saying you don't have the money.


In refutation to his argument, He has said that I made his point for him but his point in Round 1 was about Ted Turner and Mr. Yamaguchi of the Seattle Mariners. They ARE NOT small market teams. The general definiton of "small market" in North American Sports is mostly that teams which have a small media market and less of the ownership behind it (I cite The Handbook of the Economics of Sport by Wladimir Andreff and Stefan Szymanski). The Atlanta Braves or Seattle Mariners for that matter aren't small-market teams and with that argument. I answer your question about what determines a team's market size. Furthermore, I used Ted Turner as a reason why the Atlanta Braves ARE NOT small market teams. Read my argument more before you refute it. Though teams have over $100 million in revenue it can go quite quickly and thanks to the luxury tax and our current economy. I must add to my refutation of your argument that you said stadium deals are not included in their revenue what about other things such as employees, merchandise, advertisements. Plus, if it owners are so cheap why are The Chicago Cubs owners selling their franchise simply because they don't want to take the chance in this current economy and eventually their business is struggling and this is with a big market team which shows the trouble that small market owners don't want to go through. Hence, they can't compete becuase they simply can't afford the price or the risk.

And for these reasons in my clean, thorough, informative and fervent case. Vote for PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
Posted by jettyray 8 years ago
I am saying that using the excuse of being a small market team as a reason not to compete in free agency market is a sham. It is a choice, not a forced issue.
Posted by SportsGuru 8 years ago
I might take this except I am also confused about what the topic/resolution is. Maybe "Complaints by Small Market Teams Concerning Inability to Fisically Compete are Valid" or something to that effect?
Posted by theitalianstallion 8 years ago
What are you trying to debate? Your purpose is not clear to me.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thejudgeisgod 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Copperhead 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:05