I confess to following only one sport passionately: American football (both college and the N.F.L.). I confess further to being what I have been since 1967: a black-and-gold bleeding fan of the New Orleans Saints. (The first thing I read in the morning ain’t the opinion sections of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Boston Globe; it’s not any economics tome or history volume; it is – always, daily – the Saints section of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. No joke. I get around to reading that less-important stuff only later.)
So as the N.F.L. labor lockout (apparently) draws to a close, the following question occurs to me:
Suppose that today a group of people form today the National Frisbee League (N.F.L.). They develop rules for a team sport played by really good Frisbee players. From the outset – July 18, 2011 – these National Frisbee League pioneering entrepreneurs list as among their league’s rules a prohibition on any team in the National Frisbee League to pay any player more than $100,000 annually – certainly a decent salary in modern America, but not remotely close to a princely sum.
Suppose the National Frisbee League becomes wildly popular – say, similar in popularity to the National Football League. Further suppose (hardly far-fetchedly) that, without the strict $100,000 per-player cap, many teams would compete for Frisbee talent by offering millions of dollars a year.
But no such competition is permitted by league rules. It has never been permitted.
Questions: Would the sport suffer much? Would this strict per-player annual-salary cap be economically unjustified (that is, should the National Frisbee League abandon – to promote its owners’ own best interests – the salary cap after the owners realize just how wildly popular the National Frisbee League has become)?
The above two questions are not rhetorical.
UPDATE: What if the per-player annual salary cap were instead $1M – a lot of money even by modern American standards, but not a lot by the standards of the National Football League circa 2011?