Competitive Balance and Match Attendance in European Rugby Union Leagues

  • Vincent Hogan University College Dublin
  • Patrick Massey Compecon Limited, Dublin
  • Shane Massey Trinity College Dublin
Keywords: competitive balance, sport, leisure


The paper analyses factors influencing match attendance in the three main European rugby union leagues using data for over 4,000 fixtures over 15 seasons. The effect of competitive balance on attendance at sports events has received considerable attention in the literature. We find that (short- and medium-term) competitive balance have a large and statistically significant effect. However, this effect is smaller in magnitude than the effect brought about by the other aspects of the fixture with the strength of the home team being the single most important influence on attendances.