Novelty Effects of New Facilities on Attendance at Professional Sporting Events
We investigate the possibility that new facilities affect attendance - the "novelty effect" - in professional baseball, basketball, and football from 1969-2001 by estimating the parameters of a reduced form attendance model. Our results indicate a strong, persistent novelty effect in baseball and basketball and little or no novelty effect in football. Our estimates of size and duration of the novelty effect imply that, in a new facility, at a minimum, a baseball team would sell an additional 2,561,702 tickets over the first eight seasons, a basketball team 446,936 over the first nine seasons, and a football team 163,436 over the first five seasons. This increase in attendance also suggests a corresponding increase in revenues that could be tapped to help defray the large public subsidies that state and local governments frequently provide to new stadium and arena construction projects.
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