League‐Level Attendance and Outcome Uncertainty in U.S. Pro Sports Leagues

14 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013

See all articles by Brian Mills

Brian Mills

University of Texas at Austin

Rodney Fort

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Sports Management and Communication

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

We extend the breakpoint literature regarding annual league‐level attendance and the impact of outcome uncertainty to the National Basketball Association, National Football League, and National Hockey League. As our measures are different than past work on baseball, we also apply our model to the American and National Leagues. Attendance series for each league under consideration are not stationary overall, but are stationary with break points. No form of outcome uncertainty (game, play‐off, or across seasons) matters for attendance in hockey or baseball regardless of which game uncertainty variable is used. Under the measure of game uncertainty that recommends itself for football, only play‐off uncertainty matters for attendance. Whether outcome uncertainty matters for basketball depends on the measure of game uncertainty. Situational similarities in the break points across leagues suggest general areas for future research.

JEL Classification: L83, C22

Suggested Citation

Mills, Brian and Fort, Rodney D., League‐Level Attendance and Outcome Uncertainty in U.S. Pro Sports Leagues (January 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 1, pp. 205-218, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2357238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12037

Brian Mills (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Rodney D. Fort

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Sports Management and Communication

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

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