Demand, Attendance, and Censoring

Martin B. Schmidt

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387780
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Demand, Attendance, and Censoring

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  • Economics
  • Industry Studies
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics


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This article addresses the censoring of the data that comes about because of capacity constraints on game-day attendance. Using high-quality data about National Football League (NFL) attendance, it explores why and shows how a Tobit estimation technique is superior to OLS for testing propositions about price and demand shift variables in the context of the demand to attend sporting events. The OLS results are almost uniformly lower, in absolute terms, than those produced when the censoring is explicitly recognized. In addition, the marginal significance of several of the variables differs across the two. It is found that game-day attendance in the NFL depends negatively on time and positively on the perceived competitiveness and scoring output of the game. It also increases when the team plays a division rival or when the game is played on Thanksgiving.

Keywords: National Football League; attendance; Tobit estimation; OLS; censoring; scoring output; demand; price; marginal significance; Thanksgiving

Article.  4126 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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