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Work during play: Jobs in spectator sports

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You don’t always have to be a competitor or a fan to be part of the game. In the spectator sports industry, for example, there are many more workers on the sidelines than on the field.

Spectator sports employment includes those who are part of live sporting events that take place in front of a paying audience. These events can be professional or amateur and include car, horse, or dog races. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers, as well as the athletes, trainers, and managers of sports teams and racetracks are among those who work in the industry. Other occupations with significant employment in the spectator sports industry include food preparation and service workers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, and janitors and cleaners.

The chart shows metropolitan areas that had the most employment in spectator sports in 2007. The larger the circle, the more spectator sports workers were employed there. Areas with the greatest such employment in 2007 included New York City and northern New Jersey, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Charlotte, and Indianapolis. Sports teams are often located near cities or major metropolitan areas—so employment is concentrated near large cities throughout the country.

For more information about these and other industry employment data, visit the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Web site at Or, write to the Division of Administrative Statistics and Labor Turnover, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE., Rm. 4840, Washington, DC 20212; call (202) 691–6567. (To send an e-mail, go to

For more data on the occupations in the spectator sports industry, visit the Occupational Employment Statistics Web site,

Spectator sports employment by metropolitan area, 2007 annual averages

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: June 10, 2009