Why do fans go to football games? A discrete choice analysis of ticket buyers' preferences
Purpose Ticket sales are an essential source of income for football clubs and federations. Analyzing the determinants of fans' willingness-to-pay for tickets is therefore an important exercise. By knowing the match- and fan-related characteristics that influence how much a fan wants to pay for a ticket, as well as to what extent, football clubs and federations can modify their ticket offering and targeting in order to optimize this revenue stream. Design/methodology/approach Using a detailed discrete choice experiment, based on McFadden's random utility theory, this paper formulates a Bayesian hierarchical multinomial logit model. Such models are very common in the discrete choice modeling literature. The analysis identifies to what extent match and personal attributes influence fans' willingness-to-pay for games of the Belgian men's and women's football national teams. Findings The results show that the strength of the opponent, the type of competition, the location of the seats in the stadium, the day and kick-off time of the match and the ticket price exert an influence on the choice of the respondent. Fans are attracted most by competitive games against strong opponents. They prefer to sit along the sideline, and they have clear preferences for specific kick-off days and times. The authors also find substantial variation between socio-demographic groups, defined in terms of factors such as age, gender and family composition. Practical implications The authors use the results to estimate the willingness-to-pay for match tickets for different socio-demographic groups. Their findings are useful for football clubs and federations interested in optimizing the prices of their match tickets. Originality/value To the best of the authors' knowledge, no stated preference methods, such as discrete choice analysis, have been used to analyze the willingness-to-pay of sports fans. The advantage of discrete choice analysis is that options and variations in tickets that are not yet available in practice can be studied, allowing football organizations to increase revenues from new ticketing instruments.
Source (journal)
International journal of sports marketing & sponsorship. - London, 1999, currens
London : Winthrop , 2024
1464-6668 [print]
2515-7841 [online]
25 :1 (2024) , p. 88-108
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Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 31.10.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 25.10.2023
Last edited 28.02.2024
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