Facility Age and Attendance in Major League Baseball

McEvoy, Chad D.; Nagel, Mark S.; DeSchriver, Timothy D.; Brown, Matthew T.
May 2005
Sport Management Review (Sport Management Association of Austra;May2005, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p19
Academic Journal
Previous research on spectator attendance has shown that there is a "honeymoon effect" for new facilities in Major League Baseball. Little research, however, has been conducted examining the relationship between facility age and attendance throughout the life span of Major League Baseball facilities. In this study, social psychology literature covering marital satisfaction throughout the marital life cycle was used as a theoretical framework in an attempt to explain a potentially similar relationship between facility age and attendance in Major League Baseball. An economic demand model was created to examine the relationship between facility age and seasonal attendance in MLB from 1962 to 2001 (N= 950). Data indicated a statistically significant curvilinear relationship existed between facility age and attendance throughout the life span of a Major League Baseball facility. Highest attendances were found during the first years of the new facility, supporting previous studies' findings of a honeymoon effect, with the curve at its lowest attendance point in the 48th year in the facility, followed by rising attendance in the subsequent later years of the facility life span. Thus, there was statistical support for the hypothesis that attendance in Major League Baseball facilities was relatively similar to satisfaction levels of individuals over the life cycle of a marriage.


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