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Game Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Hockey League

Author

Listed:
  • Dennis Coates

    () (UMBC)

  • Brad R. Humphreys

    () (University of Alberta)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2011. "Game Attendance and Competitive Balance in the National Hockey League," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 11-130, UMBC Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:11130
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    File URL: http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_11_130.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Di Domizio & Raul Caruso, 2015. "Hooliganism and Demand for Football in Italy: Attendance and Counterviolence Policy Evaluation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(2), pages 123-137, May.
    2. Lahvicka, Jiri, 2013. "Impact of playoffs on seasonal uncertainty in Czech ice hockey Extraliga," MPRA Paper 44608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lahvicka, Jiri, 2013. "Does Match Uncertainty Increase Attendance? A Non-Regression Approach," MPRA Paper 48571, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad & Zhou, Li, 2012. "Outcome Uncertainty, Reference-Dependent Preferences and Live Game Attendance," Working Papers 2012-7, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis; Attendance demand ; NHL;

    JEL classification:

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

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