chapter  11
23 Pages

Korean baseball and soccer

Is there evidence of consumer substitution between games?
ByStefan Szymanski, Jai Ku Sun

In most countries there is a dominant professional team sport league (usually soccer). In countries where more than one sport vies for popularity (e.g. baseball and football in the US) there is little overlap in the seasons. The Korean professional baseball and soccer leagues are interesting because they enjoy similar levels of popularity and yet their seasons overlap perfectly. From an economic perspective, for any given game in one sporting code there is a substitute available in the other. The object of this study is to examine attendance at professional baseball and soccer games and to look for evidence of substitution by fans at the level of the individual game, whether for the same sport (e.g. from one baseball stadium to another) or between sports (e.g. from a soccer stadium to a baseball stadium). We begin by reviewing previous research on the economics of substitution by sports fans, then consider the development of soccer and baseball in Korea. We then discuss the data, analysis, and results. The last section contains some conclusions.