The Novelty Effect of the New Football Stadia: The Case of Germany

Arne Feddersen
Wolfgang Maenning
Malte Borcherding

When decisions are made to construct new stadia or to undertake major renovation work, the decision makers often assume that more spectators will be attracted. This so-called “novelty effect?is used as an argument that an impulse towards increased demand for the region and its services will be created, thus justifying public sector management to supply public funding. This study registers the novelty effect of soccer stadia in Germany since the beginning of the Bundesliga (1963-64) up to the end of the 2003-04 season and is based on annual team attendance per game. The data from all 12,488 completed games was used to create the annual attendance per game for each team. A persistent novelty effect of around 2,700 spectators per match (10.7% increase) can be seen. This value is significantly below the values calculated for the US-American professional leagues. The extent to which public funding for soccer stadium buildings can be justified will be small indeed.