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Stadium Construction and Minor League Baseball Attendance


  • Seth R. Gitter

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Thomas Rhoads

    () (Department of Economics, Towson University)


The established literature shows that new stadium construction for major league baseball (MLB) teams can increase attendance, but there are limited studies at the minor league level. We use a data set encompassing all A, AA, and AAA minor league baseball teams from 1992 to 2006 to estimate the impact of stadium construction on minor league attendance. This data set includes almost 200 teams, over half of which constructed a new stadium during the 15-year observation period. Over a ten year period our results show that new stadiums increase attendance by 1.2 million fans at the AAA level, 0.4 million at the AA and high A level, and 0.2 million at short season low A. Additionally, we find evidence that minor and major league baseball are potentially substitutes as increased ticket prices for the nearest MLB team lead to higher minor league attendance. However, a new stadium for local MLB teams does not seem to negatively impact minor league attendance.

Suggested Citation

  • Seth R. Gitter & Thomas Rhoads, 2010. "Stadium Construction and Minor League Baseball Attendance," Working Papers 2010-06, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2010-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2001. "The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 6-21, February.
    2. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2005. "Novelty Effects Of New Facilities On Attendance At Professional Sporting Events," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(3), pages 436-455, July.
    3. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2008. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidies for Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 294-315, September.
    4. Michael C. Davis, 2006. "Called up to the Big Leagues: An Examination of the Factors Affecting the Location of Minor League Baseball Teams," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 1(4), pages 253-264, November.
    5. Seth R. Gitter & Thomas A. Rhoads, 2010. "Determinants of Minor League Baseball Attendance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(6), pages 614-628, December.
    6. Peter A. Groothuis & Bruce K. Johnson & John C. Whitehead, 2004. "Public Funding of Professional Sports Stadiums: Public Choice or Civic Pride?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 515-526, Fall.
    7. John J. Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2000. "The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 95-114, Summer.
    8. Michael Davis, 2007. "Income and the Locations of AAA Minor League Baseball Teams," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 371-372, September.
    9. Christopher M. Clapp & Jahn K. Hakes, 2005. "How Long a Honeymoon? The Effect of New Stadiums on Attendance in Major League Baseball," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(3), pages 237-263, August.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Honey Moon is Over in Lancaster
      by Seth Gitter in the blog of diminishing returns on 2010-06-24 19:04:00
    2. Why Sports and Sports Economics Matter
      by Seth Gitter in The Blog of Diminishing Returns on 2012-06-20 00:08:00
    3. Hagerstown Stadium Construction
      by Seth Gitter in The Blog of Diminishing Returns on 2012-08-07 18:38:00
    4. How Academic Publishing is like a Football Drive
      by Seth Gitter in The Blog of Diminishing Returns on 2012-09-12 18:40:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Budzinski, Oliver & Feddersen, Arne, 2015. "Grundlagen der Sportnachfrage: Theorie und Empirie der Einflussfaktoren auf die Zuschauernachfrage," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 94, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    2. Agha, Nola & Rascher, Daniel, 2013. "When can economic impact be positive? Nine conditions that explain why smaller sports can have bigger impacts," MPRA Paper 48016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Nola Agha & Thomas Rhoads, 2016. "The League Standing Effect: The Case of a Split Season in Minor League Baseball," Working Papers 2016-13, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2016.

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