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The Yankees Effect: The Impact of Interleague Play And The Unbalanced Schedule On Major League Baseball Attendance

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  • Rodney J. Paul
  • Andrew P. Weinbach
  • Peter C. Melvin

Abstract

Major League Baseball introduced interleague play in 1997 and an unbalanced schedule between division and non-division opponents in 2001. These changes were designed to lower costs to organizations within the league and boost attendance. A game-to-game attendance model is specified for the Major League Baseball teams for 2001. We find that interleague play significantly increases attendance in National League cities only, while the unbalanced schedule has positive but insignificant attendance effects in American League cities. Working from these results, the model was re-specified to include the dominant team of this era, the New York Yankees, as a separate determinant for both interleague and divisional games. It was found that the Yankees have a large and significant effect on interleague attendance, while the impact of the other teams is not found to be significant. The same impact, to a lesser extent, is found for the divisional opponents of the Yankees under the unbalanced schedule.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodney J. Paul & Andrew P. Weinbach & Peter C. Melvin, 2004. "The Yankees Effect: The Impact of Interleague Play And The Unbalanced Schedule On Major League Baseball Attendance," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), pages 3-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:nye:nyervw:v:35:y:2004:i:1:p:3-15
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    File URL: http://www.nyecon.net/nysea/publications/nyer/2004/NYER_2004_p003.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.nyecon.net/nysea/publications/nyer/2004/NYER_2004_p003.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Whitney, James D, 1988. "Winning Games versus Winning Championships: The Economics of Fan Interest and Team Performance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 703-724, October.
    2. Donald Richards & Robert Guell, 1998. "Baseball success and the structure of salaries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 291-296.
    3. Leo Kahane & Stephen Shmanske, 1997. "Team roster turnover and attendance in major league baseball," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 425-431.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodney J. Paul & Andrew P. Weinbach, 2011. "Minor League Baseball Attendance in the Pacific Northwest: A Study of the Effects of Winning, Scoring, Demographics and Promotions in the Northwest and Pioneer Baseball Leagues," Ekonomika a Management, University of Economics, Prague.
    2. Rodney J. Paul & Andrew P. Weinbach, 2013. "The Yankee Effect in Minor League Baseball," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), pages 32-42.
    3. Tyler Anthony & Tim Kahn & Briana Madison & Rodney Paul & Andrew Weinbach, 2014. "Similarities in fan preferences for minor-league baseball across the American Southeast," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, pages 150-163.
    4. Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Sarkar, Sudipto, 2011. "Managerial compensation and the underinvestment problem," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 308-315.
    5. Lenten, Liam J.A., 2011. "The extent to which unbalanced schedules cause distortions in sports league tables," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 451-458.
    6. Rodney J. Paul & Kristin K. Paul & Michael Toma & Andrew Brennan, 2007. "Attendance in the NY-Penn Baseball League: Effects of Performance, Demographics, and Promotions," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 38(1), pages 72-81.

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