Using data from 1,226 matches played over 18 seasons, we analyse match attendances in the group stages of the European Rugby Cup (ERC). We find that short-run (match) uncertainty had little effect on attendances. This finding is significant as the ERC has been replaced by a new competition which may be more unbalanced due to differences in the distribution of revenue between the participating teams. Medium-term uncertainty, i.e. the possibility of the home team reaching the knock-out stages, had a significant impact on attendances. Measures designed to make matches more attractive, e.g. bonus points for high scoring, had little effect.
professional team sports competitive balance consumer demand