Separating the Crowds: Examining Home and Away Attendances at Football Matches
18 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2022
Date Written: November 11, 2022
The number of people consuming sporting events has long interested economists. Although imperfect, it is a measure of the demand for a ‘peculiar’ type of good or service — the sporting event. It also provides some measure of the social pressure on individuals performing. That pressure can be supportive, but it can also contribute to negative outcomes like choking on the part of performers. The extent to which a crowd is supportive or otherwise, however, is not always clear. In this paper we introduce a novel dataset detailing reported numbers of away fans at matches in England over recent years. We spend time characterising the dataset, and considering potential uses for it. We find evidence suggestive of different preferences for home and away fans; public holidays are a much stronger driver for away fan attendance, as is a team’s league position. For away fans, whether or not the team remains in contention for end-of-season prizes matters much more than for home fans, and away fans are attracted by the novelty of a fixture more than home fans. We find some evidence that the expected number of away fans may have a small impact on match outcomes.
Keywords: Sport, home advantage, attendance, demand
JEL Classification: Z2, R42, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation