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Relegation: Can it/would it work?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Songbird, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I've always thought that a fantastic way to spice up our 4 major leagues is to do what they do (or at least used to) in many futbol leagues: Relegation

    That is, the worst team in NBA, NHL and MLB gets dropped down to "triple-A" status and the "triple-A" champion gets to play the next year in the top league, and as long as the "triple-A" team doesn't have the worst record the next year, it gets to stay in the league, and previous "worst" top-league team has to win the "triple-A" championship to get back into hallowed status.

    I don't think it could work in the NFL because there's no "triple-A" equivalent, though we could ship the Raiders to Canada and take the Eskimos or Argos or something.

    Would it ever work?

    I think it would make every single game championship-important. No days off. Elite-level competition because the embarrassment of being demoted would provide the motivation to excel.

    Just a (15-year) thought.
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    It would work great if it was ingrained in our system for many years as it is in Europe, but it wouldn't work here because no owner is going to take the chance to own a team where his profits could be compromised by the drop.

    Too bad. I think it's one of the coolest aspects of European soccer.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Won't work in baseball because all AAA teams are affiliates of major league clubs. Plus, most AAA parks are not suitable for major league games.
    Won't work in NBA becuase the NBDL sucks.
    I have no idea about hockey, but I think it would be the same as baseball.
  4. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Sure -- if you get around TV contracts, the fact that the worst MLB team would slaughter the best Triple-A team (ditto for every other sport) and the fact that minor-league stadiums are band boxes compared to their big-league counter parts -- then yes, it could work.
  5. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    AHL and ECHL teams are affiliates of NHL teams.
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Cool idea, especially in baseball, but I think the logistics are heavily against it.
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    a) It could only work for baseball. (Maybe hockey, too.) And of course, you'd have to get rid of the affiliations, which would really hurt the major league teams.

    b) Lower-level soccer stadiums in England are pretty much Double- or Triple-A equivalent, too. But if they can somehow find a way to field a successful enough team to stay in the "big leagues," then they can increase their revenue to build a bigger/better stadium.

    Logistics and tradition are heavily against it, but boy, is it a cool idea competition-wise.

    Send the D-Rays back to the International League! Promote Rochester pronto! :D
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I thought about the logistics, but financially there would be some kind of way to make it work. Contracts are structed in a way that if you're relegated, everyone on the "pro" team makes the same amount in the "minor" league.

    Example: everyone on the Dodgers makes different money, some $12M/year, others $1.2M/year. But if the Dodgers are relegated, every player would make $500,000K until they earn their spot back in the majors, where their contracts resume at their pre-relegation numbers. And that would be the end-all, be-all nut-cracker aspect of playing in the major leagues.

    As for park dimensions, making them relatively equal to major league parks wouldn't be too much of a task. Even then, keep the dimensions the same.

    There would be several other logistics, but solving the financial one first would make the other ones easily solveable, I think.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    To make relegation work, the farm system model wouldn't exist. Each team would pay it own freight. No salary caps, nothing like that, but on the other hand, you'd have almost total free agency every year. You'd have contracts that would have relegation clauses, etc.

    The only limit to keep things under control for the good of whatever sport would be roster caps, something European soccer wishes it had with its system.

    In a way, it's fairest. I mean, if the Yankees want to blow $400 million, they could. No reason to penalize them for it. If your team is only willing to pay $10 million, most likely, it would reflect in the results.

    But ultimately, it puts the onus on results on the field.

    It would be cool to try and I always thought MLS was the one league where it could work as relegation is accepted by soccer fans and there is a system in place to pull it off, but it wouldn't work anywhere else because it's so foreign to our sporting culture.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    More likely, as it is in the European leagues, those (desirable) players would simply be let out of their contracts and join other teams. That's what I meant by a relegation clause, if the club gets dropped, they're free to go.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    So who would move up in place of the Knicks? Duke?
  12. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    For baseball and hockey...
    If you wanted to make it work all affiliations would have to be scrapped effectively making everyone in the minors a free agent. Then (gulp) you'd have to have the owners willing to pick up significant wage increases in the lower leagues - everyone is now on their own after all.
    In other words no way in heck.

    NFL's minor leagues are college football. It will never change.

    NBA could put some dough into its lower level developmental programs, and it could work and could improve the league. The draft would have to be eliminated however.
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