Fan welfare maximization as a club objective in a professional sports league
Motivated by aspects of European soccer club governance (members' clubs supporters' trusts), a first formal analysis of fan welfare maximization as a club objective in a sports league is provided, with comparisons to objectives studied previously (profit and win maximization). Positive comparisons focus on team qualities, ticket prices, attendances and the impact of capacity crowds; empirically observed ticket black markets and inelastic pricing are consistent only with fan welfare maximization. Normatively, social welfare (aggregate league surplus) is well-served by a league of fan welfare maximizers, or sometimes win maximizers, but not profit maximizers; leagues should not normally make profits.
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