Do Sports Fans Really Value Uncertainty of Outcome? Evidence from the English Premier League, pp. 146-155

Babatunde Buraimo
Rob Simmons

After controlling for a number of plausible influences on matchday attendance in the English Premier League, and with appropriate recognition of the censoring problem in stadium capacities, we find clear evidence that an increase in uncertainty of outcome is associated with reduced gate attendance. The conventional uncertainty of outcome hypothesis proposes precisely the opposite effect. We interpret this as suggesting that fans at EPL games, who are predominantly supporters of the home team, prefer to see their team play a much inferior team (and beat that team) rather than attend a game that is predicted to be close in score. Essentially, home fans prefer to see their team win rather than watch a draw or see the home team defeated.