By Andy Kopel
In sports, the concept of “home” has always carried defining importance. Teams have “home field” and “home court” advantages, and coverage of hosted events are aired on teams’ home broadcast networks. While there is comfort in knowing that the “home crowd” will adrenalize “the home team” and that “home is where the heart is” for the players of pro and college sports, the most important tenants of the sports world have been left homeless: the fans.
Teams and players are loyally supported and admired by hundreds of millions at stadiums live, and showcased on national and international airwaves by the billions annually. Broadcasting contracts have gotten so huge, they have become the driving economic force of the multi-trillion dollar sports industry. The NFL alone earned 4.52 billion dollars in broadcasting revenue in 2019, with the NBA at 3.12 billion and MLB at 1.65. TV and radio networks bring in enough annual money to make-or-break distribution and ownership rights, viewership ratings, and national exposure for premiere teams and athletes.
Fans are getting squeezed year-over-year, as rising ticket prices make hardworking people feel like a family day at the ballpark is a second Christmas. MLB ticket prices now average over $40 per ticket, with the more popular NFL and NBA averaging $150 and $75, respectively. The ability to attend games is now so stifled by lofty ticket and concession prices that families have become more reliant than ever on television to follow their favorite players and teams.
As an attorney and die-hard Golden State Warriors basketball fan, I’ve come to know the value of strong representation, or lack thereof. When a client is properly represented, they have the opportunity to question, respond, and be informed, and as a result find a sense of security.
The rise and growth of The FAN Action Nation (“The FAN”) is needed now, more than ever to finally provide the life force of the sports industry, sports fans, a home in which to unite and identify, where the focus is to influence ticket box offices and sports cable networks, and big-money sports corporations that have left their loyal fan bases with nowhere to go.
Sports fans now have a new nation, to be recognized on our home turf, a sanctuary offering empowerment, representation, and inclusion.
Welcome to our home!