Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events
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Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events

Winning, Losing and Competitive Balance

Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Kesenne and Brad R. Humphreys

This book examines competitive balance and outcome uncertainty from multiple perspectives. Chapters address the topic in different sports in a range of countries, to help to understand its significance. It provides readers with important new insights into previously unexplored dimensions as well as a rich context for better understanding why fans, teams, and leagues value competitive balance. The book challenges readers to think about the topic in a broad and rigorous way, and in some cases to question widely held beliefs about how outcome uncertainty motivates competitive balance, and how sports fans actually view competitive balance.
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Chapter 10: Empirical analysis of match outcome uncertainty on soccer attendance: evidence from South Africa

Thabo J. Gopane and Khumo T. Mokgatle


This chapter adapts competitive balance ratio to measure the effects of game-level outcome uncertainty on soccer attendance. The Hausman model selection test is applied to choose the appropriate specification of censored or uncensored interval regression model. The empirical analysis utilizes data from the South African Premier Soccer League’s 1200 games over five seasons, 2010–11 to 2014–15. The estimated model controls for other soccer demand determinants, including economic conditions, game environment, weather conditions, game quality, fixed effects for seasons, geographical locations and team specifics. Our findings show that an improvement in one unit of game-level uncertainty measured with game-level competitive balance ratio stands to increase soccer attendance by 35 per cent, or approximately 3500 additional attendance, ceteris paribus. The outcome of this research will benefit policymakers and sport-industry stakeholders.

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