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The Effect of Superstars on Game Attendance: Evidence From the NBA

Brad Humphreys and Candon Johnson

Journal of Sports Economics, 2020, vol. 21, issue 2, 152-175

Abstract: Economic models predict that “superstar†players generate externalities that increase attendance and other revenue sources beyond their individual contributions to team success. We investigate the effect of superstar players on individual game attendance at National Basketball Association games from 1981-1982 through 2013-2014. Regression models control for censoring due to sellouts, quality of teams, unobservable team/season heterogeneity, and expected game outcomes. The results show higher home and away attendance associated with some superstar players. Michael Jordan generated the largest superstar attendance externality, generating an additional 4,837/4,236 fans at home/away games.

Keywords: superstar effect; attendance demand; censored normal estimator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/1527002519885441

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:21:y:2020:i:2:p:152-175