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

Richard C.K. Burdekin
Matthew Grindon Morton

Fighting in hockey is often a polarizing topic. Whereas some fans clearly relish the more violent side of the National Hockey League (NHL), others condemn the sport for its unique leniency on the issue. What frequently goes overlooked, however, is the strategy behind the fighting. Managers recognize the need to protect their most skilled players from the violence so engrained in hockey culture and utilize “enforcers” to police the game and protect their star players. These enforcers use fighting to intimidate opponents and deter them from hitting the team’s stars (either legally or...Read more

Neil Longley

This paper analyzes the impact of the NHL’s participation in the Winter Olympics on competitive balance outcomes within the NHL. It finds that the post-Olympic performance of NHL teams is negatively related to the number of players that the team supplied to the various Olympic rosters. This is consistent with a notion that participating in the Olympics can induce greater fatigue in players, thereby reducing their effectiveness upon their return to their domestic clubs. This effect was found to be particularly strong for players representing the host country at the Olympics.Read more