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Competitive Balance and Match Attendance in European Rugby Union Leagues

  • Patrick Massey
  • Shane Massey
  • Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan

The paper analyses the impact of the relatively belated move to professionalism in Rugby Union. We use data on match attendance for 3,667 fixtures in European club Rugby over 15 seasons to estimate the effect of competitive balance on attendance. We find that (short- and medium-term) competitive balance has a large and statistically significant effect. However, this effect is smaller in magnitude than the effect brought about by the other aspects of the fixture with the strength of the home team being the single most important influence on attendances.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3885
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201226.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201226
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "The Champions League and the Coase Theorem," Working Papers 0617, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  2. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242.
  3. Owen, P. Dorian, 2010. "Limitations of the relative standard deviation of win percentages for measuring competitive balance in sports leagues," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 38-41, October.
  4. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  5. Szymanski, Stefan, 2001. "Income Inequality, Competitive Balance and the Attractiveness of Team Sports: Some Evidence and a Natural Experiment from English Soccer," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages F69-84, February.
  6. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2009. "Unobserved Components in Competitive Balance and Match Attendances in the Australian Football League, 1945-2005: Where is all the Action Happening?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(269), pages 181-196, 06.
  7. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  8. SZYMANSKI, Stefan & KÉSENNE, Stefan, 2003. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Working Papers 2003003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  9. Sebastian Braun & Michael Kvasnicka, 2013. "National Sentiment and Economic Behavior," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 14(1), pages 45-64, February.
  10. Seth R. Gitter & Thomas A. Rhoads, 2010. "Determinants of Minor League Baseball Attendance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(6), pages 614-628, December.
  11. Palomino, Frederic & Sakovics, Jozsef, 2004. "Inter-league competition for talent vs. competitive balance," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 783-797, June.
  12. Johan Fourie & Krige Siebrits, 2008. "From Competitive Balance to Match Attractiveness in Rugby Union," Working Papers 09/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  13. Jaume Garcia & Placido Rodriguez, 2002. "The Determinants of Football Match Attendance Revisited: Empirical Evidence from the Spanish Football League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(1), pages 18-38, February.
  14. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
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