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Do Fans Matter? The Effect of Attendance on the Outcomes of Major League Baseball Games

Author

Listed:
  • Smith Erin E

    (New York University)

  • Groetzinger Jon D.

    (SeatGeek)

Abstract

We examine the role of attendance in home-field advantage for Major League Baseball, using a dataset of all MLB games played from 1996 to 2005. Using two-stage least squares, we find that attendance has a significant effect on the home-field advantage. Our results indicate that a one standard deviation increase in attendance results in a 4% increase in the likelihood of a home team win. We also find that if attendance as a percent of stadium capacity were to increase by 48%, we would expect the home team's run differential to increase by one run. We show that the additional home-field advantage is driven by increased home team performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith Erin E & Groetzinger Jon D., 2010. "Do Fans Matter? The Effect of Attendance on the Outcomes of Major League Baseball Games," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:6:y:2010:i:1:n:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
    2. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
    3. McDonald, Mark & Rascher, Daniel, 2000. "Does Bat Day Make Cents? The Effect of Promotions on the Demand for Major League Baseball," MPRA Paper 25739, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Donald L. Alexander, 2001. "Major League Baseball," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(4), pages 341-355, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Trandel Gregory A & Maxcy Joel G, 2011. "Adjusting Winning-Percentage Standard Deviations and a Measure of Competitive Balance for Home Advantage," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Doyle Joanne M. & Leard Benjamin, 2012. "Variations in Home Advantage: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-27, June.

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