The Effect of Superstar Players on Game Attendance: Evidence from the NBA

22 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2017

See all articles by Brad R. Humphreys

Brad R. Humphreys

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Candon Johnson

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 31, 2017

Abstract

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

Humphreys, Brad R. and Johnson, Candon, The Effect of Superstar Players on Game Attendance: Evidence from the NBA (July 31, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3004137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3004137

Brad R. Humphreys (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Candon Johnson

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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