Determinants of Attendance in Major League Soccer

Journal of Sport Management, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2019

Date Written: April 30, 2019


This study examines the determinants of Major League Soccer team attendance during the league’s recent era of growth. Estimates indicate that regular-season on-field performance is positively associated with attendance, but the returns to success are diminishing. Positive novelty effects are identified for newer teams and soccer-specific stadiums but not for stadium age. Income is positively associated with attendance, indicating that MLS matches are a normal good. Population size, the Hispanic share of population, the presence of other major-league franchises, and the number of designated players on a team do not appear to be strong determinants of seasonal attendance.

Keywords: soccer, attendance, consumer demand for sports, novelty effect

JEL Classification: Z21, L83

Suggested Citation

Bradbury, John Charles, Determinants of Attendance in Major League Soccer (April 30, 2019). Journal of Sport Management, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

John Charles Bradbury (Contact Author)

Kennesaw State University ( email )

Dept. of Economics, Finance, and Quant. Analysis
560 Parliament Garden Way NW
Kennesaw, GA 30144
United States

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