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 7: Live football demand

Ruud Koning and Jeroen Achterhof

Subjects: economics and finance, sports


Live attendance at football games in the Netherlands is higher than attendance at any other sport. In this chapter we study the determinants of live attendance at football games. In particular, we focus on the effect of a variable that measures match significance. A match between two teams can be very contentious, independent of the relevance of the match for the top of the final ranking. However, a particular match may be highly significant for one of the teams if that team could, say, win the title if it were to win that particular game. Both variables are related to competitive balance, a feature of sports that is assumed to yield utility to fans. In fact, the relevance of maintaining some level of balance in competition has been underlined recently in a report by the European Commission, see KEA Economics Affairs and Centre de Droit et Economie du Sport (2013). In our empirical analysis, we take the maximum size of live attendance (due to the maximum capacity of the stadium) into account, and estimate marginal effects of the variables in a tobit model. To assess whether determinants of live attendance vary by level, we estimate the same specification both for the highest level of football in the Netherlands (Eredivisie) and for the second-tier level (Jupiler League).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information