Separating the Crowds: Examining Home and Away Attendances at Football Matches

18 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2022

See all articles by Brad R. Humphreys

Brad R. Humphreys

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

James Reade

University of Reading

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Carl Singleton

University of Stirling - School of Management; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: November 11, 2022

Abstract

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

Humphreys, Brad R. and Reade, James and Schreyer, Dominik and Singleton, Carl, Separating the Crowds: Examining Home and Away Attendances at Football Matches (November 11, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4275076 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4275076

Brad R. Humphreys

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

James Reade (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Carl Singleton

University of Stirling - School of Management ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.carlsingletoneconomics.com/

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

Germany

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