Professional Football—Can You Join the League? Lesson for Grades 9-12

Students apply economic concepts to a professional football league. The lesson underscores the importance of incentives, control of supply, and potential market inefficiencies resulting from a cartel. Students assume one of two roles: either (i) a member of a team owner group trying to get its team into the Professional Football League or (ii) a member of the Professional Football League Expansion Committee deciding whether new teams are admitted.

Objectives of this Lesson:

Students will be able to

  • recognize competition and incentives in professional sports,
  • describe a cartel,
  • describe a monopoly,
  • explain how professional sports leagues exhibit behaviors of a cartel and a monopoly, and
  • interpret the interdependent relationship between a professional sports league and the individual teams in that league.

Compelling Question:

How does economic competition affect professional sports leagues and teams?

This lesson plan is designed for teaching grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.



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Education Level: 9-12
Subjects: AP Economics Economics
Concepts: Market Structure
Resource Types: Lesson
Languages: English
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