Title: Where did National Hockey League fans go during the 2004-2005 lockout? An analysis of economic competition between leagues

Authors: Daniel A. Rascher, Matthew T. Brown, Mark S. Nagel, Chad D. McEvoy

Addresses: College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., LMP 116, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080, USA. ' College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Carolina Coliseum, Room 2012, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. ' College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Carolina Coliseum, Room 2012, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. ' School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Horton 227M, Normal, IL 61790, USA

Abstract: Identifying and evaluating competitors is a critical aspect of operating a sport organisation. However, North American sports franchises have a limited understanding of competitors in their geographic market – particularly when calculating the degree of competition from other sport teams. Increasing the understanding of local sport competitors, whether in the same or different professional leagues, is critical not only to future franchise operations, but also for potential litigation concerning relevant product markets. This paper utilises a natural experiment involving the National Hockey League|s (NHL) 2004-2005 lockout to assess the competitiveness of the NHL with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and four minor hockey leagues. On average, the five potential competitor leagues attained a 2% increase in demand, all else equal, during the lockout period. For the NBA this translates into more than US$1 million per team in increased incremental ticket revenue.

Keywords: relevant markets; competition; demand; NHL lockout; National Hockey League; regression analysis; competitor identification; competitor evaluation; sport marketing; National Basketball Association; NBA; minor league hockey; ticket revenue.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.021758

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.183 - 195

Available online: 01 Dec 2008 *

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