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Does Match Uncertainty Increase Attendance? A Non-Regression Approach

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  • Lahvicka, Jiri

Abstract

The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis predicts that more balanced sports matches should attract higher attendances, but the empirical evidence is mixed at best. First, this article shows that the inconsistent findings in the literature could be explained by wrongly specified regressions. Second, a new approach to analyzing the effect of match uncertainty is proposed. Using data about nine seasons of the English Championship, the article shows that in a pair of matches where both home teams are slight favorites, a switch of the corresponding away teams would decrease the total attendance by several percent, while the opposite is true if both home teams are underdogs or strong favorites. These results suggest that attendance demand is a bell-shaped function of match balance that is maximized if teams of the same quality play against each other.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48571.

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Date of creation: 23 Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48571

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Keywords: uncertainty of outcome; soccer; attendance demand;

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  1. Men-Andri Benz & Leif Brandes & Egon Franck, 2006. "Do Soccer Associations Really Spend on a Good Thing? Empirical Evidence on Heterogeneity in the Consumer Response to Match Uncertainty of Outcome," Working Papers, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0048, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2008.
  2. Pawlowski, Tim & Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "The (monetary) value of competitive balance for sport consumers: A stated preferences approach to European professional football," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 77, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  3. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  4. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad, 2011. "Game Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Hockey League," Working Papers 2011-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  5. Buraimo, Babatunde & Simmons, Rob, 2009. "A tale of two audiences: Spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 326-338, July.
  6. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1992. "The Demand for Football: Some Evidence on Outcome Uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 323-31.
  7. Tim Pawlowski, 2013. "Testing the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in European Professional Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , , vol. 14(4), pages 341-367, August.
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