Cricket crowds drawn more by team strength than promise of close contest
According to a new research the biggest draw to crowds in international cricket is the strength of the team, rather than the promise of a close contest.
The findings from the study contradict the previous research which suggested that attendance is largely determined by how closely matched the two teams are during a game.
According to the research carried out by Nottingham University Business School in collaboration with University of Sheffield, the researchers analyzed the number of spectators at around 400 Test matches that took place in England, Australia and New Zealand between 1980 and 2012.
The researchers found that the closeness of contest has only a small effect and the most important factor affecting crowd numbers is the absolute strength of teams.
The researchers said that an increase in ten points (using the official ICC ranking system) for the away team leads to more than 500 extra spectators per day on average and an increase of 10 ranking points for the home team leads to about 1,400 extra spectators per day.
One of the researcher's said that their results suggest that crowds want to watch good players even if the match ends up being an unequal contest and while the attraction towards strong home teams is unsurprising, the interest in strong away teams suggested fans are interested in watching high quality cricket even if the team they support may be likelier to lose.
(Posted on 07-03-2014)