Soccer is an important sport in the United Kingdom. In 2004/5 the average attendance at a soccer game was 15,885. However attendance is not even across every team. The average attendance figures for a Premier-League team the average was 33,885 and for the 3rd division teams this was 4,500 (Football Economy, 2005). The staging and support of soccer teams takes resources and the higher the level of attendance, the higher level of income. Higher levels of attendance, in the past, have also indicated better financial performance as complimentary good, such as soccer jerseys and accessories have been sold more often. The levels of attendance over the last ten years have been gradually increasing, in 1994-1995 the average attendance at a premiership game was 24,294, and at a 3rd division game it was only 3,384 (Football Economy, 2005). The increases in attendance should indicate increased receipts and a better financial position for the soccer teams, but in recent years a number of teams have been facing large deficits. The gains have not been evenly spread; there has often been an assumption that it is the performance of a team that will impact on if they see an increase or a decrease in attendance, but some teams, even when performing well may still be struggling. This is especially true for smaller soccer teams and the ticket sales may not be only dependent on the performance of the team. The main purpose of this report is to look at the way ticket sales are arising, and what influences soccer fans to goto the game.
The traditional approach has been to assume that the demand for tickets to a soccer game will be influenced by the performance of the team. As the team performs the demand for the tickets will increase, and as the performance decreases then demand for tickets will decrease. It is also known that the demand for any good or service will have many other influences, such as ticket price and features as disposable income (Nellis and Parker, 2000). However even this relationship is more difficult to determine, in research by Simmons (et al, 2005), it was shown that instead of fans being confident of a winning outcome it was actually uncertainty that would be a driver for the highest viewing figures for television spectators. This research has looked at Premiere Leagues only. Nevertheless, the argument that outcome of the game uncertainty can positively impact on attendance; it just may not transfer to the smaller team stadiums. Research by Borland and MacDonald (2003) indicated that instead of being a driver, there is a greater level of outcome unpredictability and this would not have the same impact at ground attendance levels, especially where the crowds that attend the game are significantly a biased audience. With this type of attendance the desire to see a win is the driving force (Borland and MacDonald, 2003). This model is supported by Szymanski (2003) where similar results were found.
If we consider the...