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Entries in future sports (14)


Sport in the Year 2000 (1986)

The March, 1986 issue of Omni magazine featured a quiz readers could take to test their knowledge of what sports would be like in the year 2000 and beyond. The thing I find funny about this was that the "correct" answers were determined by one man, Peter Ueberroth, the commissioner of Major League Baseball. While he may have been one of the most qualified people to comment on the subject, the experts aren't necessarily better than average people at predicting the future. That being said, most of Ueberroth's predictions were pretty darn accurate.

Some of Ueberroth's predictions appear below.

  • Baseball will be the most popular sport in the year 2001.
  • Pete Rose's career hit record is unlikely to be broken.
  • No major American sport of the year 2000 will see men and women playing side by side.
  • Stricter medical standards will be applied to boxing.
  • 21st century Americans will cite Babe Ruth as the greatest male sports hero of the 20th century.
  • 21st century Americans will cite Wilma Rudolph as the greatest female sports hero of the 20th century.
  • The NHL, NFL and MLB will never institute a salary cap.
  • Greater restrictions will be placed on the sale of beer in stadiums.
  • By the year 2000 someone will run a sub-2 hour marathon.


Previously on Paleo-Future: 



Jet Set in 1999 A.D. (1967)

Though commercial aviation has become a tedious exercise in repeatedly proving that your shampoo is not actually made of C-4, it's easy to forget that air travel used to be too expensive for the average American. Flying was an event, something you dressed up for. It wasn't so easy to book a relatively inexpensive flight one evening and be in a faraway land the very next day. Adjusted for inflation, flying has never been a better deal.

So, while most of us are not living Wink Martindale's life of jet-set luxury... enjoying 16-hour work weeks, clunky videophones, and zipping down to Mexico for a quick 18 holes, we can dream along with the 1967 film 1999 A.D.


 Previously on Paleo-Future:



Mechanized Stadium of the Future (1958)

The November 2, 1958 edition of Closer Than We Think featured a "mechanized stadium."

The stadium of tomorrow might very well be adaptable to a variety of athletic and other events, thereby solving a practical problem that has long plagued sports promoters.


The mechanized arena depicted here contains self-propelled sectional grandstands made of a new lightweight high tensile aluminum. Such seating areas would be maneuverable and could be properly positioned for the event at hand with little difficulty. Thus the stadium would be as suitable for a baseball game as it would be for football, boxing or hockey.

And not only would such a stadium bring spectators right up to where the action took place - but as an added touch there might be an adjustable mobile glass roof to protect them from the elements.

Next week: "Turnpike Jet Lines"

Many thanks to Tom Zmudzinski for providing this difficult to find strip.

See also:
Sports Fans of the Year 2000 (1967)
Mile Run in 3:41 by Year 2000 (1965)
Lunar High Jump (1979)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)
Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)
Zero-Gravity Football (1981)
Future Without Football (Daily Review, 1976)
"Grasshopper" Golf Cart (1961)


Sports Fans of the Year 2000 (1967)

The August 20, 1967 Progress-Index (Petersburg, VA) ran a piece titled, "Hard Times Facing Joe Fan," about the overcrowding of sports stadiums that was sure to come with exponential population growth.

My favorite quote of the article comes from the only source, real estate developer Joseph Timan: "With unprecedented leisure time on their hands, millions of sports fans will want to patronize more than one team."

The cartoon at right, reading, "Bleachers $8," appeared in the July 30, 1967 Lima News (Lima, OH) publication of the article. Adjusted for inflation $8 in 1967 is a little over $50 in 2008 currency.

NEW YORK (NEA) - It is the year 2000 and you want a ticket to a baseball or a basketball game. You figure it will be just like today, walk up to the box office, push your money over the counter and buy a reserved seat for $2.50.


Forget it.

This opinion comes from one Joseph Timan, city planner and president of Horizon Land Corp., a real estate development company in Tucson, Ariz.

Timan made his prediction following a Horizon-sponsored sociological study of future planning problems in metropolitan areas.

The study revealed that city populations are expected to double and triple by the year 2000. This means there will be two to four times more sports fans in the next 30-40 years. Stadium capacity will remain relatively the same.

"Stadiums could be built to seat 150,000" TIman says, "but watching a sporting event in a structure this size would be like watching a flea circus from a block away.

"Besides, the crushing chaos of getting this much humanity in and out of such a facility makes management of today's World Series crowds a simple routine by comparison."

Because of the increased number of fans and the lack of space, tickets, Timan says, will be sold months and in some instances, seasons in advance.

"Even third baseball and football leagues won't meet the demands for tickets," Timan said. "With unprecedented leisure time on their hands, millions of sports fans will want to patronize more than one team."

To obtain a ticket, the average fan is going to need influence as well as affluence.

"Diamonds, mink and champagne, instead of shirtsleeves and beer, will be commonplace in the bleacher section at ball games," Timan continued.

"These sports will no longer be for the masses. The box seats, upper stands and bleachers will be filled up with junior and senior executives - and mostly senior at that. The rest of us will have to be content to see sports over television.

"Prices for a bleacher seat that goes for $2 today will sell for $8 because of the great demand and limited supply. Box seats, for those lucky enough to get them, will bring $20 or more."

Far fetched?

"Not at all," Timan said, "It's a simple matter to extrapolate from history and project into the future. Consider these facts:

"In the past 30 years the number of fans attending major sporting events have more than tripled while population has increased about 50 per cent.

"Consider salaries of sports greats of 30-40 years ago. Today they're easily four or five time bigger. By 2000 they can be expected to quadruple again.

"Now, larger stadiums are being built, but they are very close to maximum possible size for viewing team sports.

"Thirty years ago bleacher seats were going to 50 cents while they are generally four times this amount today.

"Tickets to many major league football and hockey games are already almost impossible to obtain, unless you have 'pull.' Today just try to get a ticket to a hockey game; a big Saturday college game, or a baseball game when the team is on top.

"Multiply these factors by a doubled or triple urban population by the year 2000, a population with many more upper-income people with more leisure time; couple this with the physical limitations of stadiums, and you can't escape the conclusion that soon there won't be enough stadium seats to go around."

It sounds like something out of a Walter O'Malley dream.

See also:
Mile Run in 3:41 by Year 2000 (1965)
Lunar High Jump (1979)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)
Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)
Zero-Gravity Football (1981)
Future Without Football (Daily Review, 1976)
"Grasshopper" Golf Cart (1961)



More French Prints of the Year 2000 (1900)

Hunting and Destroying Microbes

The website Television History has five more French prints which imagine the year 2000. The site claims that 50 such cards, each illustrating different wonders of a hundred years hence, were produced for the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Flying Tennis

Projecting Telescope

Underwater Croquet

Flying Buses

See also:
French Prints Show Year 2000 (circa 1910)
Gardens of Glowing Electrical Flowers (1900)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
Stepped Platform Railway (1890)
Moving Sidewalk (1900)
Moving Sidewalk Mechanics (1900)
Going to the Opera in the Year 2000 (1882)


Taller Women by Year 2000 (1949)

The December 24, 1949 Daily Capital News (Jefferson City, MO) ran an Associated Press article titled, "Authorities Predict Gals Will 'Rise' to New Heights by 2000." An excerpt along with the piece in its entirety appear below.

"Nature seems bent on producing a new race of Amazons. Within the next 50 years you'll find the emancipated woman engaging actively in such sports as football, baseball and soccer. She'll think nothing of chopping the wood and acting as family car mechanic."


See also:
Women and the Year 2000 (1967)
Lives of Women to Improve (1923)
Miss A.D. 2000 (Chicago Tribune, 1952)
Future Without Football (Daily Review, 1976)
Feminine Beauty (New York Times, 1909)


Mile Run in 3:41 by Year 2000 (1965)

The September 4, 1965 Press Courier (Oxnard, CA) ran an article titled, "Physiologist sees mile run in 3:41 by year 2000." The entire article appears below.

In case you were wondering, the actual world record in 2000 was 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, according to Running Times magazine.

How fast will man run the mile in the year 2000?

The answer, according to Oxford University physiologist B.B. Lloyd, is three minutes, 41 seconds - more than 12 seconds faster than French athlete Michel Jazy's current world mark of 03.53.6.

Lloyd, addressing the annual convention of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, said the trends in record breaking of the past 50 years were likely to continue for the next 50.

Records keep getting broken, he said, because athletes keep getting "greater hearted" - their muscles get more oxygen from the blood pumped to them by the heart.

Thus, he thought the reason for improvement lay not so much in individual skill as in more intensive selection and training, particularly during the final stages of growth.

These were his forecasts for other world marks at the end of the century.

100 yards: 8.6 seconds, now 9.1.
440 yards: 42.4 seconds, now 44.9.
10,000 meters: 26:08.4, now 27:39.4
Marathon: two hours, two minutes, now two hours, 12 minutes. [paleo-future editor's note: Khalid Khannouchi of Morocco held the record in the year 2000 with two hours, five minutes and forty-two seconds.]

Lloyd said the ability of a runner to use oxygen had increased about eight per cent since 1930.

He added:
'There seems no reason why a similar rate of increase should not be seen for the next 50 years, particularly as the maximum capacity to use oxygen in cross country skiers has already been shown as six per cent larger than that of record breaking miler John Landy.

And he forecast that women may overtake men in sprint events. Women, he said, can use their original stores of energy faster than men.

See also:
Lunar High Jump (1979)
Sport in Space Colonies (1977)
Olympic Games on the Moon in 2020 (1979)