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Attendance Demand for Baseball Games in Japan

By Yukiko Hirao


This paper studies how competitive balance in the Japanese professional baseball teams has changed over time, and estimates the effect of competitive balance on attendance demand for baseball games. Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (the ‘NPB’ hereinafter) consists of the Central League and the Pacific League, and there are six teams in each league. In 2004, a series of changes took place in the Pacific League, including the merger of the two existing teams, the entry of a new team, the first-ever strike by ball players, and the relocation of a franchise team from Tokyo to Hokkaido. I estimate attendance at home games of the twelve teams for the period 1958 to 2013, and examine whether the Pacific League has become more competitive after the changes in 2004. The main results are: (1) The structural break in 2004 has increased competitive balance of the Pacific League relative to the Central League; and (2) home-team attendance is positively related to stadium capacity, the team's winning rate, previous year’s attendance---indicating fan loyalty---, per capita real GDP, and competitive balance. The results imply that the leagues and the teams should take measures to promote competitive balance in order to increase attendance

Publisher: 成蹊大学経済学部学会
Year: 2014
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