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It's always fascinating and enlightening to me to look back at the history of sports, and how we got to where we are today. When you see anniversary dates of tournaments or events like 'the 50th Super Bowl' or the '70th NBA title champ', you take for granted the state the sport is in during our current climate.
In almost all cases, it didn't start out this way. And also in most cases, there has been and remains an ongoing war of attrition between the talent, the owners, the fans, and the broadcasters. Mix that in with how much our social and political climate has changed from decade to decade, and it's easy then to imagine how a lot of the most popular sporting events in America where at one time on the brink of complete dissolution.
War for the Tour: The day the PGA Championship nearly died is an article put out by Golf.com that illustrates this point exactly. Sure, PGA champs today make millions in purse prizes, even if you don't finish in the top 5-10 spots. But that was far from the case in the late 60's.
Very much worth the read, and might give you some added perspective on sport history in general. If this was the case for one tournament in one sport, undoubtedly the history of every sport has had it's own 'nearly died' moment. Or several of them.
The PGA Championship now celebrates its 100th Championship.