Research on event leveraging has revealed that certain constraints inhibit the realisation of desired benefits from event hosting. Using qualitative action research methods, this study examined the constraints to leveraging regular season professional sport team events for tourism. The leveraging potential of regular season professional sport team events has been largely ignored – both by researchers and practitioners. This presented an ideal opportunity to examine the pre-leveraging phase with a view to understanding leveraging constraints. The results identified five overarching constraints: lack of collaboration; priorities and resources; perceived benefit radius; perceived tourism potential; and, unclaimed responsibility. We propose a process model to better understand how leveraging constraints emerge and can be negotiated over time. This research is among the first to demonstrate the utility of team events for inclusion in regional event portfolios. It, therefore, builds on extant knowledge by presenting a more holistic conceptualisation of the inherent constraints to event leveraging, and further, provides a basis from which to successfully negotiate these constraints.