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Changing Competition Design and Spectator Turnout: Evidence from the League of Ireland

David Butler, Robert Butler and Ewan Mullane
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David Butler: University College Cork
Robert Butler: University College Cork
Ewan Mullane: University College Cork

The Economic and Social Review, 2021, vol. 52, issue 3, 333-353

Abstract: We contribute to the literature on demand for football by investigating the effect of variations in competition design on spectator turnout. We examine attendance in the League of Ireland Premier Division for two periods with alternative league formats, estimating club-fixed effects regressions. Our results show that the change did not increase average attendance. Many determinants of attendance are robust to the reorganisation and balance measures are consistent under both formats. Like past evidence from the League, habit, team form, scheduling and travel are important determinants. Our results speak to league administrators and club owners attempting to optimise revenues.

Keywords: spectator attendance; association football; Ireland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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