The consequences (and nonconsequences) of ownership change: the case of major league baseball

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Hersch, Philip L.
Pelkowski, Jodi E.

Hersch, P. L., & Pelkowski, J. E. (2019). The Consequences (and Nonconsequences) of Ownership Change: The Case of Major League Baseball. Journal of Sports Economics, 20(1), 72–90


Although ultimate responsibility for a professional sports team lies with the owner, little is known about the repercussions of having a new owner at the helm. This article investigates ownership change in Major League Baseball. Estimates indicate that new owners do not impact on-field success relative to teams with continuous ownership. A temporary 8% bump in player payrolls, however, is observed in the first few years of owner transition. Change in ownership increases the odds of general manager and manager dismissals and is also more likely to trigger modifications to team logos and player uniforms.

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