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Stadium Construction and Minor League Baseball Attendance

By Seth R. Gitter and Thomas Rhoads

Abstract

The established literature shows that new stadium construction for major league baseball (MLB) teams can increase attendance, but there are limited studies at the minor league level. We use a data set encompassing all A, AA, and AAA minor league baseball teams from 1992 to 2006 to estimate the impact of stadium construction on minor league attendance. This data set includes almost 200 teams, over half of which constructed a new stadium during the 15-year observation period. Over a ten year period our results show that new stadiums increase attendance by 1.2 million fans at the AAA level, 0.4 million at the AA and high A level, and 0.2 million at short season low A. Additionally, we find evidence that minor and major league baseball are potentially substitutes as increased ticket prices for the nearest MLB team lead to higher minor league attendance. However, a new stadium for local MLB teams does not seem to negatively impact minor league attendance.

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