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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Scelles & Christophe Durand & Liliane Bonnal & Daniel Goyeau & Wladimir Andreff, 2013. "My team is in contention? Nice, I go to the stadium! Competitive intensity in the French football Ligue 1," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2365-2378.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00119

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Scelles, Nicolas & Duran, Christophe & Bonnal, Liliane & Goyeau, Daniel & Andreff, Wladimir, 2016. "Do all sporting prizes have a significant positive impact on attendance in a European national football league? Competitive intensity in the French Ligue 1," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 3, pages 82-107, June.
    2. Schreyer, Dominik & Schmidt, Sascha L. & Torgler, Benno, 2016. "Against all odds? Exploring the role of game outcome uncertainty in season ticket holders’ stadium attendance demand," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 192-217.
    3. Meletakos, Panagiotis & Chatzicharistos, Dimitrios & Apostolidis, Nikolaos & Manasis, Vasilios & Bayios, Ioannis, 2016. "Foreign players and competitive balance in Greek basketball and handball championships," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 391-401.

    More about this item


    competitive intensity; uncertainty of outcome; sporting stakes; attendance; optimal match temporal horizon; French football Ligue 1;

    JEL classification:

    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services


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