Outcome Uncertainty, Fan Travel, and Aggregate Attendance

12 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Brad R. Humphreys

Brad R. Humphreys

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Thomas J. Miceli

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2020

Abstract

The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis (UOH) informs economists' understanding of consumer decisions to attend sporting events and team revenue generation. We develop a model of fan behavior based on standard expected utility methods which incorporates fan heterogeneity in terms of decisions to travel to away games and strong preferences for wins. The model reflects aggregate attendance outcomes across local and visiting fans, generates predictions consistent with the UOH, and gives rise to concave league‐wide revenue functions. Empirical analysis of game outcomes and attendance at regular season National Basketball association games from 1979 to 2013 supports key predictions of the model.

JEL Classification: L83, D12, Z20

Suggested Citation

Humphreys, Brad R. and Miceli, Thomas J., Outcome Uncertainty, Fan Travel, and Aggregate Attendance (January 2020). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 58, Issue 1, pp. 462-473, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12844

Brad R. Humphreys (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Thomas J. Miceli

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States
860-486-5810 (Phone)
860-486-4463 (Fax)

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