“Major League” Goes West: The Effects of Major League Sports on Los Angeles and Seattle

By Kyle Scholzen.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A large American city’s status is often determined by its involvement in major league sports. Cities crave the exposure that major sports clubs offer and are often to be considered to be important just by housing a major league team. This paper looks at two Western cities, Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, and their rise to major league status. Los Angeles received its’ first major league team, the National Football League’s Cleveland Rams in 1946- 12 years after hosting the Olympic Games, a massive world-wide sporting event. Los Angeles was well-established by the time it received a major league team, and its’ citizens knew it. Seattle, however, was a regional city, albeit one on the rise, when it gained a team in the National Basketball Association in the expansion Supersonics in 1967. Two years later the city would gain then promptly lose a Major League Baseball team in the Seattle Pilots. It had not yet attained the status of a “major league” city. With the construction of a domed stadium and arrival of two more major league teams, however, Seattle would eventually become “major league.”

Keywords: Major League Sports, Seattle, Los Angeles, City Status

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.235-244. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 607.822KB).

Kyle Scholzen

Undergraduate Student, Department of History, University of Washington, Kent, Washington, USA

Kyle Scholzen is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, studying both History and the Comparative History of Ideas. He will graduate in June 2010 with his B.A. and hopes to continue his education with graduate and doctoral study in history. He’s lived in or near Seattle his entire life.