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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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

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