Game Information, Local Heroes, And Their Effect On Attendance: The Case Of The Japanese Baseball League
Can professional sports teams develop their fan base and increase attendance by using players from their same hometown? In the Japanese Professional Baseball League, the starting pitcher is announced prior to the game in the Pacific League but not in the Central League. Considering characteristics of starting pitchers such as their hometown and salary, and comparing the Pacific and the Central League, I attempt to investigate how and to what extent the release of information concerning a starting pitcher prior to the game affects attendance. My major findings are as follows: (1) In the Pacific League, the salary of the home team’s starting pitcher is positively related to attendance, while that of the visiting team is not. (2) In the Central League, neither the salary of the home team’s starting pitcher nor that of the visiting team’s affect attendance. (3) In the case of the Pacific League, the positive effect of salary on attendance increases when the home team’s starting pitcher is from the same hometown.
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