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Where to Go Next?: Examining the Effect of Franchise Expansion and Location on Game-Level Attendance in Major League Soccer

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Sports Economics
Issue number5
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)524-547
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/01/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using a large dataset with over 4,000 game-level observations from Major League Soccer over the period 2006 to 2019 we investigate the determinants of attendance demand. Focusing on franchise expansion and location effects, we find that some decisions made by the organization had positive impacts on league revenues. While going to cities with a large population and already hosting nearby NFL or NBA teams is positively associated with game attendance, the presence of geographically close MLB and NHL teams is detrimental to MLS revenues. Our results suggest a need for a more nuanced and selective approach to MLS expansion policy.