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My team is in contention? Nice, I go to the stadium! Competitive intensity in the French football Ligue 1

Listed author(s):
  • Nicolas Scelles


    (School of Sport, University of Stirling, United Kingdom)

  • Christophe Durand


    (CESAMS EA 4260, Université de Caen, France)

  • Liliane Bonnal


    (CRIEF EA 2249, Université de Poitiers, France)

  • Daniel Goyeau


    (CRIEF EA 2249, Université de Poitiers, France)

  • Wladimir Andreff


    (CES UMR 8174 CNRS, Université Paris 1, France)

The aim of this article is to investigate the determinants of attendance at French football Ligue 1 matches over the period 2008-2011 with an emphasis on examining the effect of competitive intensity before a match. Competitive intensity is measured by dummies that are function of the points difference for the home team in relation to ranks with sporting stakes. Eight match temporal horizons are chosen: the points difference makes possible a change in the standing during the next match, the two next matches… until the eight next matches. Besides, in Ligue 1, the fifth and sixth ranks are potentially qualifying ranks for the Europa League and become definitely qualified or not qualified ranks according to progress in the two French cups, for which the outcomes are known in the last part of the season. It explains that competitive intensity is measured both with only sure ranks and sure and potential ranks. Results show that competitive intensity has a significantly positive impact at the 5% level only from the horizon of the three next matches with only sure ranks but for all the horizons with sure and potential ranks. Moreover, when we take into account horizons in and not until a given number of matches, only the three first ones are significant at the 1% level with only sure ranks and only the two first ones with sure and potential ranks. Discussion, implications and avenues are drawn.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 2365-2378

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00119
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  1. Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues: An Introduction," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 111-121, May.
  2. 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, vol. 61(4), pages 326-338, July.
  3. Jean-pascal Gayant & Nicolas Le Pape, 2012. "How to account for changes in the size of Sports Leagues? The Iso Competitive Balance Curves," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1715-1723.
  4. Loek Groot, 2008. "Economics, Uncertainty and European Football," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12924.
  5. Stefan Kesenne, 2000. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance in Professional Team Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(1), pages 56-65, February.
  6. Szymanski, Stefan, 2001. "Income Inequality, Competitive Balance and the Attractiveness of Team Sports: Some Evidence and a Natural Experiment from English Soccer," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 69-84, February.
  7. David Forrest & Robert Simmons & Babatunde Buraimo, 2005. "Outcome Uncertainty And The Couch Potato Audience," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(4), pages 641-661, September.
  8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
  9. N. Scelles & C. Durand & L. Bonnal & D. Goyeau & W. Andreff, 2013. "Competitive balance versus competitive intensity before a match: is one of these two concepts more relevant in explaining attendance? The case of the French football Ligue 1 over the period 2008--2011," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(29), pages 4184-4192, October.
  10. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  11. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
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