Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 10:55 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Competitive balance is an important issue for Major League Baseball (MLB). If there is too much separation between the best and worst teams it is believed that games become uninteresting because the season-end result is predictable. If there is too little separation fans may be uninterested because the regular season result appears to be simply luck based. The MLB offices have made strides to increase competitive balance by implementing a revenue sharing system and by adding additional playoff spots. The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of competitive balance in baseball on league wide attendance. Previous papers have examined competitive balance on a per season basis. In this paper we seek to examine the effect competitive balance on cumulative attendance at a game-by-game level. Our hypothesis is that increased competitive balance (measured as the inverse of standard deviation of team winning percentages) will lead to higher league wide attendance totals. Data for this paper will come from retrosheet.org, a database of game-by-game (and event by event) baseball statistics. Retrosheet offers data on every Major League game played and includes attendance. We can use this data to calculate day by day winning percentages while also controlling for potentially significant factors such as temperature and day of the week. The findings of this paper will be relevant in determining whether or not Major League Baseball, a multi-billion dollar industry, should aggressively try to influence competitive balance and in what direction.

Faculty Sponsor

Daniel LaFave

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Economics Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1152

Included in

Economics Commons

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 9:00 AM Apr 30th, 10:55 AM

Competitive Balance and Attendance in Major League Baseball

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Competitive balance is an important issue for Major League Baseball (MLB). If there is too much separation between the best and worst teams it is believed that games become uninteresting because the season-end result is predictable. If there is too little separation fans may be uninterested because the regular season result appears to be simply luck based. The MLB offices have made strides to increase competitive balance by implementing a revenue sharing system and by adding additional playoff spots. The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of competitive balance in baseball on league wide attendance. Previous papers have examined competitive balance on a per season basis. In this paper we seek to examine the effect competitive balance on cumulative attendance at a game-by-game level. Our hypothesis is that increased competitive balance (measured as the inverse of standard deviation of team winning percentages) will lead to higher league wide attendance totals. Data for this paper will come from retrosheet.org, a database of game-by-game (and event by event) baseball statistics. Retrosheet offers data on every Major League game played and includes attendance. We can use this data to calculate day by day winning percentages while also controlling for potentially significant factors such as temperature and day of the week. The findings of this paper will be relevant in determining whether or not Major League Baseball, a multi-billion dollar industry, should aggressively try to influence competitive balance and in what direction.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/7