IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

“If You Can’t Win, Why Should I Buy a Ticket?”: Hope, Fan Welfare, and Competitive Balance


  • Norm O’Reilly

    () (Laurentian University)

  • Alan Kaplan

    (Ryerson University)

  • Ryan Rahinel

    (Laurentian University)

  • John Nadeau

    (Nipissing University)


Competitive balance is highly desired in professional sports leagues, yet measurement of the concept is not well established. The definition of firm/team goals in a professional sports league and its connection with competitive balance has typically been assumed rather than studied. Using fan welfare as the goal of the firm, the current research attempts to link competitive balance with fan welfare through the use of what is termed the “hope” construct. A market survey of 367 individuals in a Major League Baseball market empirically supports the use of the hope construct in competitive balance. Suggestions for future research are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Norm O’Reilly & Alan Kaplan & Ryan Rahinel & John Nadeau, 2008. "“If You Can’t Win, Why Should I Buy a Ticket?”: Hope, Fan Welfare, and Competitive Balance," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 3(2), pages 106-118, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:3:y:2008:i:2:p:106-118

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full-text download requires subscription from FIT.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    sport finance; competitive balance; parity; Major League Baseball; professional sport; hope; shareholder wealth; fan welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:3:y:2008:i:2:p:106-118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.