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Competitive Balance and Attendance


  • Martin B. Schmidt

    (Portland State University)

  • David J. Berri

    (Coe College)


Both the popular press and industry insiders have claimed that the growing gap between the “rich†and “poor†teams in major league baseball has led to a greater disparity on the field of play and that the eventual outcome of this gap will be lower attendance. The purpose of this inquiry is twofold. First, an investigation into the level of competitive balance reveals that relative to major league baseball’s historical record and contrary to the contentions of the media, the 1990s was the most competitive decade on the field of play. Second, the previously unexplored link between aggregate attendance and league competitive balance is examined. This investigation suggests that a relationship between these factors does indeed exist, whether one explores the relationship strictly across time or with the use of a panel data set.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2001. "Competitive Balance and Attendance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(2), pages 145-167, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:2:y:2001:i:2:p:145-167

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