The Economics of Competitive Sports

The Economics of Competitive Sports

New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series

Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Késenne and Ruud Koning

The essence of any sports contest is competition. The very unpredictability of a sporting outcome distinguishes it from, say, an opera performance. This volume presents a state of the art overview of the economics of competitive sport along two main themes. In the first part, the discussion centers on the organization of sports and competition. The second part deals with the competitive balance, rewards and outcomes of the actual contests.

Chapter 4: Where to play first (away or home) in a best-of-two tournament? An analysis from UEFA competitions

Carlos Varela-Quintana, Julio del Corral and Juan Prieto-Rodríguez

Subjects: economics and finance, sports


Home advantage in sport is well documented in the literature. Factors related to the location and venue, and referee’s behaviour for psychological reasons are usually considered to be the causes of home advantage. Many knock-out competitions are set to an odd number of matches. However, in some sports (for example, football, handball and table tennis) the number of matches is even. Thus, the decision to be made is how to choose the venue of the matches since it is usual to play the same number of matches in each venue. Home advantage effect is especially relevant in football where, for instance, 48 per cent of the matches played in the Spanish First Division between seasons 2000–2001 and 2010–11 have been won by the local team, while the away percentage of winning was below 28 per cent. The UEFA has set that the second match has to be played in the best classified venue in the round-robin stage in the UEFA Champions League, but to the best of our knowledge there is no paper that has analysed this issue. This chapter aims to fill this gap in the literature by analysing most best-of-two rounds played in UEFA competitions.

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