big data · economia dos esportes

Economia dos Esportes e “Big Data”

Let’s meet as usual: Do games played on nonfrequent days differ? Evidence from top European soccer leagues – Daniel Goller and Alex Krumer

Abstract: Balancing the allocation of games in sports competitions is an important organizational task that can have serious financial consequences. In this paper, we examine data from 9,930 soccer games played in the top German, Spanish, French, and English soccer leagues between 2007/2008 and 2016/2017. Using a machine learning technique for variable selection and applying a semi-parametric analysis of radius matching on the propensity score, we find that all four leagues have a lower attendance as the share of stadium capacity in games that take place on non-frequently played days compared to the frequently played days. In addition, we find that in all leagues except for the English Premier League, there is a significantly lower home advantage for the underdog teams on nonfrequent days. Our findings suggest that the current schedule favors underdog teams with fewer home games on non-frequent days. Therefore, to increase the fairness of the competitions, it is necessary to adjust the allocation of the home games on non-frequent days in a way that eliminates any advantage driven by the schedule. These findings have implications for the stakeholders of the leagues, as well as for coaches and players.

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