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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Novelty effect in NYC already gone?

Last year, the two New York City baseball teams opened new stadiums: new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. There are a number of papers that investigate the so-called novelty effect of a new stadium. The idea is that a new stadium will encourage people to attend games in the new stadium despite the quality of the team. This provides a potential incentive for team owners to reduce payroll and team quality because of the influx of attendance caused by the new stadium.

Previous studies have found that the novelty effect might last from four to eight years, although the impact has been declining over the past twenty years, perhaps because new stadiums are the norm not the exception.

Now comes evidence that attendance to the Mets, in the second year of their new stadium, is down 17% year-to-date from last season. That is a huge drop-off and I wonder if that is evidence that the novelty effect in New York, or at least for the Mets, lasted only one year?

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