Rodney J. Paul
Andrew P. Weinbach
Daniel Robbins

Due to recent deaths of known enforcers in professional hockey, the role of fighting in the sport has come under increased scrutiny. This study examines the role of fighting, along with other factors, as it relates to attendance in the top developmental minor league for the NHL, the American Hockey League (AHL). AHL fans are shown to respond favorably to fighting, with more fans attending games when the home team fights more often. Fans are also shown to respond to the opponent and to a wide of promotions, which were tabulated from team websites and included in the model.Read more

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...Read more

Wen-Jhan Jane
Nai-Fong Kuo
Jyun-Yi Wu
Sheng-Tung Chen

This paper investigates the determinants of game-day attendance in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) from 2001 to 2007. We include measures of league-level uncertainty and game uncertainty for two rivals at the same time in a quantile regression model. The results support the hypothesis of outcome uncertainties. Closer wins by the competing teams within a league and a smaller gap in terms of the winning percentage between two teams induces more outcome uncertainty, and consequently leads to higher attendance. Moreover, the results of the quantile regression show that these...Read more

Dennis Coates
Brad R. Humphreys

We examine the relationship between game day attendance, uncertainty of outcome, and team and facility quality in the National Football League. Based on results from a reduced form model of game day attendance at 5,495 regular season NFL games from the 1985-2008 seasons, we find weak evidence that attendance increases when fans expect the home team to win by a large margin, and strong evidence that attendance decreases when the home team is expected to lose, contrary to the predictions of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis.Read more

Robert A. Lawson
Kathleen Sheehan
E. Frank Stephenson

In January 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that international soccer sensation David Beckham would be joining the league playing for the LA Galaxy. This paper examines Beckham¡¯s effect on MLS ticket sales for the 2007 season. Depending on specification, our results indicate that Beckham increased ticket sales as a share of stadium capacity by about 55 percentage points. We then use these results to evaluate MLS¡¯s Designated Player Rule and to perform a back-of-the-envelope calculation of Beckham¡¯s benefit to the LA Galaxy.Read more

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...Read more

Brian P. Soebbing

Competitive balance research partitions into two areas: analyzing sports policy and its effect on competitive balance and the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis. This paper examines the latter section. No formal analysis of the relationship between competitive balance and regular season average attendance in Major League Baseball (MLB) using the actual to idealized standard deviation ratio exits. This paper examines the effect that competitive balance has on MLB attendance between the seasons 1920 and 2006. Additionally, this paper incorporates a games-behind variable to examine if fans are...Read more

Michael C. Davis

This study examines the importance of team success for attendance for Major League Baseball teams. Winning and attendance go together for most baseball teams, but the direction of causation is not obvious. Winning could lead to greater attendance as fans want to see a winner; an increase in attendance could lead to greater winning as teams have greater resources to spend on salaries. This study finds that the direction of causation runs from team success to greater attendance, and that a sudden increase in fans does not lead to additional winning in the future. A secondary result suggests...Read more

Daniel A. Rascher
John Paul G. Solmes

The National Basketball Association claims to sell entertainment. Part of that entertainment is close, competitive contests with uncertain outcomes. However, hometown fans want the home team to win. Hence, the optimal probability that the home team wins a game, from the perspective of maximizing demand, lays somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0. Using data from individual games for the 2001-02 season, this optimal probability was estimated to be approximately 0.66. Fans want their home team to have about twice the chance to win a game as the visiting team.Read more

Andrew Chupp
E. Frank Stephenson
Ron Taylor

Although conventional wisdom holds that alcohol availability increases baseball attendance, little evidence exists on the complementarity between attendance and alcohol availability. To address this gap in the literature, we examine the effect of Rome, Georgia’s November 2004 legalization of Sunday alcohol sales on a minor league baseball team’s attendance. OLS and Tobit estimates of an attendance model find no statistically significant effect of alcohol availability on attendance. In addition to analyzing the relationship between attendance and alcohol availability, we also perform back-...Read more

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