Rivalries in US Professional Soccer
Wooten, J. J. (2018). Rivalries in US Professional Soccer. International Journal of Sport Finance, 13(2).
19 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2014 Last revised: 14 Sep 2020
Date Written: December 22, 2017
This paper investigates factors that contribute to attendance in Major League Soccer with a primary focus on the effect of repeat rivalry matches during a season. Using ordinary least squares, a panel of 2,193 matches (6 seasons) finds significant effects for a variety of match determinants including how rivalries are defined in the estimation. With an increased focus on creating rivalries, the data supports potential diminishing returns from overscheduling of rivalry matches. Fans and leagues appear to place a high value on scheduling rivalry matches, however it appears these impacts are relatively short-sited and are not consistent across each rivalry match during the season. Numerous other factors at the club and league’s discretion may provide larger impacts for leagues with a primary goal of increasing attendance.
Keywords: scheduling, U.S. Professional soccer, attendance, rivalries
JEL Classification: Z20, L83, L13, L21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation