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The impact of the 1981 and 1994–1995 strikes on Major League Baseball attendance: a time-series analysis

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Abstract:

Protracted labour disputes in professional team sports have become increasingly common in the past 30 years. Although each of the four major professional team sports in the USA have experienced episodes of labour strife, Major League Baseball has the longest and most frequent experience with labour-management conflict. Fans and the media claim with each incident permanent harm is done to baseball's standing as the national pastime. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain whether such claims can be supported by the empirical evidence. Utilizing time-series analysis, aggregate attendance at professional baseball games is examined. The evidence presented suggests that although the most protracted periods of labour discord had short-term impacts on attendance, there is no empirical evidence that these exogenous shocks had any long-term effects.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840110044162

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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