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Game Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Hockey League

We examine the relationship between attendance, uncertainty of outcome, and team quality in the National Hockey League. Based on results from a reduced form model of attendance at 6054 regular season NHL games from 2005/06 to 2009/10, we find evidence that attendance increases when fans expect the home team to win by a large margin. Attendance increases for home team underdogs, but the extent of that boost declines as the underdog status worsens. An asymmetric relationship exists between expected game outcomes and attendance, suggesting the need for an expanded definition of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis.

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File URL: http://www.ualberta.ca/~econwps/2011/wp2011-08.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Alberta, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-8.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2011_008
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  1. B Buraimo & D Forrest & R Simmons, 2004. "Outcome uncertainty and the couch potato audience," Working Papers 542822, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  3. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1988. "Outcome Uncertainty and the Demand for Football: An Analysis of Match Attendances in the English Football League," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 242-49, August.
  4. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1984. "Tobit models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 3-61.
  5. Brad R. Humphreys & Yang Seung Lee, 2010. "Week to Week Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Football League," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 5(4), pages 280-295, November.
  6. Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues: An Introduction," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 111-121, May.
  7. Peel, David A & Thomas, Dennis A, 1992. "The Demand for Football: Some Evidence on Outcome Uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 323-31.
  8. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
  9. Paul, Rodney J. & Weinbach, Andrew P., 2007. "The uncertainty of outcome and scoring effects on Nielsen ratings for Monday Night Football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 199-211.
  10. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  11. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242.
  12. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  13. Robert J. Lemke & Matthew Leonard & Kelebogile Tlhokwane, 2010. "Estimating Attendance at Major League Baseball Games for the 2007 Season," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(3), pages 316-348, June.
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