Fan Attendance in Major League Baseball
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What attracts fans to Major League Baseball games? In sports economics this is an essential question to answer since fan behavior often has significant effects on the different aspects of the baseball business. The current research provides two competing theories: the game-winning model and the championship model. The game-winning model suggests fans attend games under the assumption their favorite team will win that particular game, whereas the championship model requires attendance to increase as the probability of a particular team winning the division title or World Series increases. The purpose of my research is to utilize various data collected from every game played in the current 2005 Major League Baseball season and provide evidence about the relative empirical relevance of the game-winning model, the championship model, or a combination of the theories in regard to fan attendance. At the conclusion of the season in October, multivariable econometric regression will determine the variables that affect attendance at all games. Suspected influential variables include the starting pitchers and their corresponding ERAs, weather conditions, team standings, batting averages, ticket prices, and the betting line that will be used to determine fan expectation for each game. The same regression tactics will be used on similar data sets collected from other researchers in order to solidify the most accurate theory. Unfortunately, a conclusion will not be reached until the season has ended.