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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