Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 285–298 | Cite as

U.S. professional football game-day attendance

  • Andrew M. Welki
  • Thomas J. Zlatoper


This paper uses Tobit analysis to estimate a model which explains game-day attendance at professional football games in the U.S. Several potential determinants of attendance are accounted for in the model. The data used in the analysis pertain to 392 regular season games played during the 1986 and 1987 National Football League seasons. The estimation results suggest that attendance is greater when the opposing teams—particularly, the home team—are of higher quality. There is also evidence that games expected to be close in score are more heavily attended than those that are not. Rainy conditions reduce fan turnout, although warmer temperatures lessen the negative effect of precipitation. Higher ticket prices lead to lower attendance, and fans are apparently indifferent to whether games are played either indoors or outdoors.


International Economic Public Finance Estimation Result Warm Temperature Potential Determinant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bureau of Economic Analysis.County Earnings Tape, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics.CPI Detailed Report, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, various years.Google Scholar
  3. Cairns, J.; Jennett, N.; Sloane, P. J. "The Economics of Professional Team Sports: A Survey of Theory and Evidence,"Journal of Economic Studies, 13, 1, 1986, pp. 3–80.Google Scholar
  4. Drever, P.; MacDonald, J. "Attendances of South Australian Football Games,"International Review of Sports Sociology, 16, 2, 1981, pp. 103–13.Google Scholar
  5. Noll, R. G. "Attendance and Price Setting," in R. G. Noll, ed.,Government and the Sports Business, Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1974, pp. 115–57.Google Scholar
  6. The Plain Dealer, various issues.Google Scholar
  7. Schofield, J. A. "The Demand for Cricket: The Case of the John Player League,"Applied Economics, 15, 3, 1983a, pp. 283–96.Google Scholar
  8. __. "Performance and Attendance at Professional Team Sports,"Journal of Sport Behavior, 6, 4, December 1983b, pp. 196–206.Google Scholar
  9. Siegfried, J. J.; Hinshaw, C. E. "The Effect of Lifting Television Blackouts on Professional Football No-Shows,"Journal of Economics and Business, 32, 1, 1979, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  10. U.S. Senate.Fifth Annual Report of the Federal Communications Commission on the Effect of Public Law 93-107, the Sports Antiblackout Law, on the Broadcasting of Sold-Out Home Games of Professional Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1978.Google Scholar
  11. USA Today, various issues.Google Scholar
  12. Welki, A. M.; Zlatoper, T. J. "U.S. Professional Football: The Demand for Game-Day Attendance in 1991,"Managerial and Decision Economics, 15, 1994, pp. 489–95.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Atlantic Economic Society 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew M. Welki
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Zlatoper
    • 1
  1. 1.John Carroll UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations