Attendance Elasticity of Win Percentage in the NBA: An Exploration of the Effects of Team Performance on Home Game Attendance
In the wide world of sports, not all fan bases are created equally—especially in the NBA. Differences in factors like tradition, history, team performance amongst teams make each fan base distinctly unique. This paper will analyze how team performance effects one component of fan behavior: home game attendance. Using win-loss data and home game attendance data for each NBA team from 2001 to 2017, I will construct statistical models to estimate how great of an impact team performance has on each team’s home game attendance. I expect each team’s fan base to respond differently to changes in their team’s win-loss record. This paper will also attempt to quantify other facts that impact attendance at NBA games, including year-to-year changes in team salary expenditures, regional income, and the number of star players playing for the team. Finally, this paper will explore the factors that affect home game attendance for specific games within a given season—things like weather, strength of opponent, and win streaks. Ultimately, the goal of this paper will be to provide NBA business analysts with resources to more precisely anticipate their team’s home game attendance. The ability to understand what motivates the behavior of a fan base is invaluable in creating a marketing strategy that drives fans to the arena. This paper will help to identify teams that are most susceptible to significant fluctuations in attendance and outline alternative strategies to positioning their product offering effectively to fans.