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Baseball Strikes and the Demand for Attendance


  • Dennis Coates


  • Thane Harrison


Professional baseball has experienced numerous work-stoppages over the last 30 years, including three which resulted in the cancellation of games. Existing estimates of the demand for attendance at Major League Baseball games has found that only those events which caused the loss of games influenced attendance. This paper revisits the issue of whether strikes affect attendance and finds that even those lockouts and strikes that do not cause games to be canceled are associated with significantly lower attendance. Moreover, despite dramatic differences in the severity of the three strikes that canceled games, one cannot reject the hypothesis that the effects are the same. Finally, the evidence here suggests that attendance is adversely affected by events leading up to negotiation of a new Basic Agreement between the players and the owners.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Coates & Thane Harrison, 2004. "Baseball Strikes and the Demand for Attendance," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 04-101, UMBC Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:04101

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2001. "Competitive Balance and Attendance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(2), pages 145-167, May.
    2. Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2004. "The Impact of Labor Strikes on Consumer Demand: An Application to Professional Sports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 344-357, March.
    3. Leo Kahane & Stephen Shmanske, 1997. "Team roster turnover and attendance in major league baseball," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 425-431.
    4. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "The Economic Impact of Postseason Play in Professional Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(3), pages 291-299, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Todd Nesbit & Kerry King, 2010. "The Impact of Fantasy Football Participation on NFL Attendance," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 95-108, March.
    2. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2003. "Novelty Effects of New Facilities on Attendance at Professional Sporting Events," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 03-101, UMBC Department of Economics.
    3. Young Lee & Rodney Fort, 2008. "Attendance and the Uncertainty-of-Outcome Hypothesis in Baseball," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(4), pages 281-295, December.
    4. John C. Whitehead & Bruce K. Johnson & Daniel S. Mason & Gordon J. Walker, 2009. "Using Revealed and Stated Preference Data to Estimate the Demand and Consumption Benefits of Sporting Events: An Application to National Hockey League Game Trips," Working Papers 09-13, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    5. Ira Horowitz, 2007. "If you play well they will come-and vice versa: bidirectional causality in major-league baseball," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 93-105.
    6. Scott Tainsky & Jason Winfree, 2010. "Short-Run Demand and Uncertainty of Outcome in Major League Baseball," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 37(3), pages 197-214, November.
    7. Lahvicka, Jiri, 2010. "Attendance of ice hockey matches in the Czech Extraliga," MPRA Paper 27653, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    sports attendance; strikes;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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