An Examination of the Effects of the Recent Economic Crisis on Major League Baseball Attendance Demand, pp. 140-156

Sungil Hong
Michael Mondello
Dennis Coates

This paper investigates the effects of the recent economic crisis on Major League Baseball (MLB) attendance during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, adopting the composite index of coincident indicators released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia to capture the impact of economic circumstances. Major advantages of the coincident indexes are the ability to specify monthly changes in state economic conditions, as well as combining the information from several economic indicators. The estimates for the coincident indicators suggest the economic downturn drove a fall in attendance of about 6.5%, compared to the reported decline of 6.77%. The success of the composite index in explaining the impact of the recent economic crisis on attendance in MLB suggests the indicator is a viable proxy for income in game attendance demand studies.