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Does Match Uncertainty Increase Attendance? A Non-Regression Approach

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  • Lahvicka, Jiri

Abstract

The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis predicts that more balanced sports matches should attract higher attendances, but the empirical evidence is mixed at best. First, this article shows that the inconsistent findings in the literature could be explained by wrongly specified regressions. Second, a new approach to analyzing the effect of match uncertainty is proposed. Using data about nine seasons of the English Championship, the article shows that in a pair of matches where both home teams are slight favorites, a switch of the corresponding away teams would decrease the total attendance by several percent, while the opposite is true if both home teams are underdogs or strong favorites. These results suggest that attendance demand is a bell-shaped function of match balance that is maximized if teams of the same quality play against each other.

Suggested Citation

  • Lahvicka, Jiri, 2013. "Does Match Uncertainty Increase Attendance? A Non-Regression Approach," MPRA Paper 48571, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48571
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/48571/1/MPRA_paper_48571.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
    2. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2011. "Game Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Hockey League," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 11-130, UMBC Department of Economics.
    3. Tim Pawlowski & Oliver Budzinski, 2013. "The Monetary Value of Competitive Balance for Sport Consumers: A Stated Preference Approach to European Professional Football," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 8(2), pages 112-123, May.
    4. Buraimo, Babatunde & Simmons, Rob, 2009. "A tale of two audiences: Spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 326-338, July.
    5. Tim Pawlowski, 2013. "Testing the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in European Professional Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 14(4), pages 341-367, August.
    6. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1992. "The Demand for Football: Some Evidence on Outcome Uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 323-331.
    7. Men-Andri Benz & Leif Brandes & Egon Franck, 2009. "Do Soccer Associations Really Spend On A Good Thing? Empirical Evidence On Heterogeneity In The Consumer Response To Match Uncertainty Of Outcome," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 216-235, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncertainty of outcome; soccer; attendance demand;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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