Japanese Professional Soccer Attendance and the Effects of Regions, Competitive Balance, and Rival Franchises, pp. 309-323

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 attempts to look at the differences which occur in the demand for sport from one regional type to another.