Impact of New Minor League Baseball Stadiums on Game Attendance, pp. 146-153

Donald P. Roy

More than 100 new minor league baseball stadiums were built in the 1990s and early 2000s following the opening of several successful new venues in Major League Baseball. Sports economics literature suggests that the economic impact potential of new stadiums is overstated because attendance gains from new stadiums are short lived (i.e., a novelty effect). This study examined the impact of new minor league baseball stadiums on annual attendance using attendance data from 101 stadiums opened between 1993 and 2004. Results indicated that attendance levels attained the first year a stadium opened increased only slightly in years 2-5 as average attendance in year 5 was only 0.2% higher than year 1. For stadiums built to replace existing venues, attendance levels were 74% higher in year 5 of a new stadium compared to the final year at the old stadium. Attendance increases were greatest for teams competing in Independent and Class A leagues.