The Demand for League of Ireland Football

  • Barry Reilly University of Sussex, Brighton
Keywords: spectators, association football, soccer, League of Ireland, sport and leisure


This paper provides some empirical insights on the determinants of spectator demand for League of Ireland football. Using data from three recent playing seasons, the estimated spectator demand relationship revealed important roles for recent team performance, fixture quality, seasonal and match outcome uncertainty, and a selection of opportunity (and other) cost measures. The estimates confirm the importance of fixture quality for spectator attendance and also reveal evidence of a short-run competitive imbalance within the domestic game. The analysis suggests that modest enhancements to attendance may be achieved through increasing fixture quality and reducing such imbalance. These enhancements are more likely to be secured through reducing rather than increasing the current number of teams in the league’s top tier.