The purpose of this paper is to use financial market prices formed in betting markets as a measure of uncertainty of outcome and other factors as it relates to hockey attendance in three top European leagues, the KHL, SHL, and Liiga. This is the first study of European hockey to use betting market odds to estimate the impact of home team win probability and uncertainty of outcome on attendance.
The design of this study is a multivariate regression model with log of attendance and percentage of arena capacity as dependent variables in two separate regressions. Controlling for other factors, the role of the home team win probability and its square are explored for individual game attendance.
Fans of the KHL and SHL are found to prefer to see their home team win, but also exhibit strong preferences for uncertainty of outcome. Fans of Liiga prefer to see the home team win, but do not exhibit as strong a preference for uncertainty of outcome. This differs from recent findings in the sport of baseball and from previous findings for the NHL.
Having a competitive league is not only important for television ratings, but also for in-person attendance in these European hockey leagues. Importance of uncertainty of outcome varies across leagues.
The paper uses financial market prices, betting market odds, as a measure of game expectations (home team win probability) and uncertainty of outcome and applies it to a new setting for three of the top European hockey leagues. The findings illustrate that uncertainty of outcome is important for the KHL and SHL, but statistically insignificant for Liiga.
Paul, R., Conetta, C. and Losak, J. (2016), "Betting market prices, outcome uncertainty, and hockey attendance in Russia, Sweden, and Finland", Managerial Finance, Vol. 42 No. 9, pp. 852-865. https://doi.org/10.1108/MF-01-2016-0016Download as .RIS
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