Examining the Effects of Competitive Balance on Attendance for European Soccer
Yurkiv, Michael R., 1999--
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European soccer leagues are notorious for being competitively imbalanced, the same teams winning the championship title each year. The question then becomes how this affects fans’ interest in attending games. When fans can guess how a season will end before it even starts, why would they attend matches? While plenty of prior research has explained the relationship between uncertainty of outcome and attendance for individual matches, there is little research that explores this relationship in the long term. This study uses the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to measure the distribution of championships over a ten-year period for the leagues of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany and compares these results against the aggregate attendance for each league in a given year. Controlling for market size, GDP per capita, and country, statistically significant results demonstrate that competitive balance is indeed a factor of demand, causing the demand for attendance to decrease as leagues become more competitively imbalanced.