The Effect of Superstar Players on Game Attendance: Evidence from the NBA
22 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2017
Date Written: July 31, 2017
Economic models predict that “superstar” players generate externalities that increase attendance and other revenue sources beyond their individual contributions to team success. We investigate the effect of superstar players on individual game attendance at National Basketball Association games from 1981/82 through 2013/14. Regression models control for censoring due to sellouts, quality of teams, unobservable team/season heterogeneity, and expected game outcomes. The results show higher home and away attendance associated with superstar players. Michael Jordan generated the largest superstar attendance externality, generating an additional 5,021/5,631 fans at home/away games.
Keywords: Superstar Effect, Attendance Demand, Censored Normal Estimator
JEL Classification: Z2, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation