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Competitive balance versus competitive intensity before a match: Is one of these concepts more relevant in explaining attendance? The case of the French football Ligue 1 over the period 2008-2011


  • Nicolas Scelles

    () (Université de Poitiers - Faculté des Sciences du sport - Université de Poitiers)

  • Christophe Durand

    () (CesamS - Centre d'étude sport et actions motrices - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)

  • Liliane Bonnal

    (CRIEF - Centre de Recherche sur l'Intégration Economique et Financière - Université de Poitiers)

  • Daniel Goyeau

    (Université de Poitiers - Faculté de Sciences économiques - Université de Poitiers)

  • Wladimir Andreff

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


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 effects of both competitive balance and intensity before a match. Competitive balance is measured by the point difference between the two teams concerned by a match in the championship. Competitive intensity is measured by the point difference for the home team in relation to ranks with sporting stakes. Results show that competitive balance has an insignificant impact whereas competitive intensity has a significantly positive impact. Implications are drawn.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Scelles & Christophe Durand & Liliane Bonnal & Daniel Goyeau & Wladimir Andreff, 2013. "Competitive balance versus competitive intensity before a match: Is one of these concepts more relevant in explaining attendance? The case of the French football Ligue 1 over the period 2008-2011," Post-Print halshs-00874478, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00874478
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.770124
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Scelles, Nicolas (Сели, Николя) & Duran, Christophe (Дюра, Кристоф) & Bonnal, Liliane (Бонналь, Лилиан) & Goyeau, Daniel (Гойюс, Даниэль) & Andreff, Wladimir (Андрефф, Владимир), 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 [Действительно Ли Все Спортивные Призы Ок," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 3, pages 82-107, June.
    3. Dominik Schreyer & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Game Outcome Uncertainty and Television Audience Demand: New Evidence from German Football," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 19(2), pages 140-161, May.
    4. 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.
    5. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Stadium attendance demand during the COVID-19 crisis: Early empirical evidence from Belarus," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-20, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    6. 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.
    7. Jaume García & Plácido Rodríguez & Federico Todeschini, 2020. "The Demand for the Characteristics of Football Matches: A Hedonic Price Approach," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 21(7), pages 688-704, October.


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