Live Game Attendance and the Desire for (Un)certain Game Outcomes in Football: Evidence From the German 2. Bundesliga

John A. Menge
Torsten Schlesinger
and Hyunwoong Pyun

This study aims to analyze fans’ demand for live football matches in the German 2. Bundesliga, focusing on match-outcome uncertainty. To examine the decision to attend sporting events, a fixed effects regression and the Tobit model were used to test the uncertainty of game outcomes and reference-dependent preferences with loss aversion. The estimated fans’ demand for attending live football matches is represented by the logged attendance of 2,442 matches from the 2010/2011 to the 2017/2018 seasons of the 2. Bundesliga. Our findings indicate that fans prefer certain game outcomes over uncertain ones. In other words, reference-dependent preferences with loss aversion dominate the desire for close competition. We estimated our main model using various proxies of uncertainty as robustness checks, and the results confirmed our findings.

JEL: L83, D12, Z20