Jadrian Wooten

This paper investigates factors that contribute to attendance in Major League Soccer with a primary focus on the effect of repeat rivalry matches during a season. Using ordinary least squares, a panel of 2,193 matches (6 seasons) finds significant effects of a variety of match determinants, including how rivalries are defined in the estimation. With an increased focus on creating rivalries, the data supports potential diminishing returns from overscheduling of rivalry matches. Fans and leagues appear to place a high value on scheduling rivalry matches, however it appears these impacts are...Read more

B. David Tyler
Craig A. Morehead
Joe Cobbs
and Timothy D. DeSchriver

Although the concept of rivalry is widely recognized as a contributing factor to consumer demand for sporting events, who constitutes a rival and to what degree rivalry influences attendance remains vague. Previous demand models consistently included rivalry as an explanatory variable but represented rivalry in inconsistent ways that often violated rivalry’s core properties (i.e., non-exclusive, continuous in scale, and bidirectional). This study reviews past specifications for rivalry and tests multiple rivalry variables, including a 100-point allocation measure that conforms to rivalry’s...Read more

Dennis Coates
Iulia Naidenova
and Petr Parshakov

Using data from the Russian Premier League, this paper estimates brand strength of a football club as the effect that club has on attendance when it is the visiting team. This objective measure of sports club brand contrasts with the subjective, survey-based measures common in the literature. The analysis then turns to the determinants of this measure of brand, tracking its evolution across seasons and relating it to the history of success of the club. The results confirm that greater success raises brand strength and that brand does not depreciate quickly over time.Read more

Antonio Friedman-Soza
Jorge R. Friedman
Domingo H. Pozo
and Carlos F. Yevenes

Applying probit in Mexican micro data we conclude that sporting event attendance is determined mostly by education, income, gender, employment, marital status, ethnic origin, urbanization, and age. Showing that education is so central in the decision to attend a sporting event in developing countries is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the study; highly educated people are seven times more likely to buy tickets to sporting events than those with little formal education. The data fit information criteria confirms the importance of education. These results reveal yet another mechanism...Read more

Harry Arne Solberg
Ingar Mehus

This article, which is based on an empirical survey of Norwegian football fans, illustrates that frequent viewership of football on TV can make it difficult to maintain attendance levels at the stadium. Fans of clubs that were featured the most often on free-to-air TV channels attended fewer matches than others. Hence, regulations on televised football might be necessary to maintain attendance levels. Fans that had strong preferences for foreign football attended less frequently. This represents a challenge for football clubs in smaller nations, such as Norway, for example, since they are...Read more

Michael C. Davis
Craig Palsson
Joseph Price

In 2010, a plan to finance a new spring training stadium for the Cubs through a ticket surcharge on all games in the Cactus League was proposed. We find that the Cubs increase attendance when they are the away team by about 37%. Thus, the surcharge would be economically justified as long as the price elasticity of tickets is less than 0.32, which many prior studies find to be the case. This tax provides one of the few examples in which the cost of a subsidized stadium would be born primarily by the group that benefits the most from the arrival of the subsidized team.Read more

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...Read more

Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach
Daniel Robbins

Due to recent deaths of known enforcers in professional hockey, the role of fighting in the sport has come under increased scrutiny. This study examines the role of fighting, along with other factors, as it relates to attendance in the top developmental minor league for the NHL, the American Hockey League (AHL). AHL fans are shown to respond favorably to fighting, with more fans attending games when the home team fights more often. Fans are also shown to respond to the opponent and to a wide of promotions, which were tabulated from team websites and included in the model.Read more

Nicholas M. Watanabe

While much of the focus on professional sport is divided between North America and Europe, there is a growing need to analyze sport leagues and organizations outside of these two regions. In this paper, the J-League, Japan’s top flight professional soccer league, is the focus of examination through a seasonal attendance model which seeks to test the importance of region and competitive balance in determining demand for attendance. The results of this model indicate that fans are sensitive to competitive balance, confirming the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis. Furthermore, this paper...Read more

Wen-Jhan Jane
Nai-Fong Kuo
Jyun-Yi Wu
Sheng-Tung Chen

This paper investigates the determinants of game-day attendance in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) from 2001 to 2007. We include measures of league-level uncertainty and game uncertainty for two rivals at the same time in a quantile regression model. The results support the hypothesis of outcome uncertainties. Closer wins by the competing teams within a league and a smaller gap in terms of the winning percentage between two teams induces more outcome uncertainty, and consequently leads to higher attendance. Moreover, the results of the quantile regression show that these...Read more