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Nicolas Scelles, Christophe Durand, Liliane Bonnal, Daniel Goyeau and Wladimir Andreff
''My team is in contention? Nice, I go to the stadium! Competitive intensity in the French football Ligue 1''
( 2013, Vol. 33 No.3 )
The aim of this article is to investigate the determinants of attendance at French football Ligue 1 matches over the period 2008-2011 with an emphasis on examining the effect of competitive intensity before a match. Competitive intensity is measured by dummies that are function of the points difference for the home team in relation to ranks with sporting stakes. Eight match temporal horizons are chosen: the points difference makes possible a change in the standing during the next match, the two next matches… until the eight next matches. Besides, in Ligue 1, the fifth and sixth ranks are potentially qualifying ranks for the Europa League and become definitely qualified or not qualified ranks according to progress in the two French cups, for which the outcomes are known in the last part of the season. It explains that competitive intensity is measured both with only sure ranks and sure and potential ranks. Results show that competitive intensity has a significantly positive impact at the 5% level only from the horizon of the three next matches with only sure ranks but for all the horizons with sure and potential ranks. Moreover, when we take into account horizons in and not until a given number of matches, only the three first ones are significant at the 1% level with only sure ranks and only the two first ones with sure and potential ranks. Discussion, implications and avenues are drawn.
Keywords: competitive intensity, uncertainty of outcome, sporting stakes, attendance, optimal match temporal horizon, French football Ligue 1
JEL: L8 - Industry Studies: Services: General
Manuscript Received : Feb 14 2013 Manuscript Accepted : Sep 17 2013

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