Is March Madness Contagious?

Craig A. Depken

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387773
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Is March Madness Contagious?

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This chapter explores the most prominent National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) event, namely, the annual “March Madness” NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament. Its central hypothesis is to test whether there are internal and external benefits associated with post-season play in the form of additional future attendance. The effect of post-season basketball tournaments on basketball attendance is described. When more conference members play in the NCAA tournament, there are positive spillovers to attendance for other teams in the conference. If the NCAA selection process is biased against smaller and mid-major conferences, the selection process reduces future attendance to smaller conference teams through two avenues. It is shown that participating in more NCAA tournament games increases attendance up to six years into the future.

Keywords: NCAA; men's basketball; post-season play; college basketball tournaments; tournament games; attendance

Article.  9900 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Financial Institutions and Services

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