Monday, 14 November 2011

Bums on Seats - An Attendance Analysis (Part 2)

A sustainable league requires all teams to become self-sufficient. While at the present time all teams are owned centrally, the ABL will be aiming to ensure that all teams can be successful in their own right. Number crunching of regular season attendances to date shows that this balance is being struck quite well, as can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Home Attendances (Excluding Playoffs)

Interestingly, the Brisbane Bandits currently lag behind the rest of the pack - while Adelaide and Melbourne posting the strongest numbers. Solid crowds in the relatively smaller market of Canberra are also promising.

While the season is very young (each team has only hosted one home series, with Perth's being severely rain impacted) - a comparison between seasons yields interesting results. So far, the only team to improve on last years attendance average is Canberra. All other teams will be hoping this trend reverses as the season matures. No doubt the ABL will be watching this closely, and hopefully developing innotive ways to grow and market the game.

Figure 2: Season 1 and 2 Comparison

Figure 3 shows which visiting teams tend to draw the biggest crowds. Based on attendances to date, the Aces and the Heat seem to be the biggest drawcards. Despite strong home crowds, when the Bite or the Cavalry visit the host city tends to be generally less excited.

Figure 3: Biggest Visiting Drawcards

Returning to a topic from Part 1, the effect of week day seems to be consistant across the league. As seen in Figure 4, Saturdays and Fridays draw the most fans, while Thursdays and Sundays lag behind. Again, I find it very interesting that Sunday tends to draw fewer people that Thursday. On face value, I would have thought that a Sunday day-game at the ballpark would be an attractive proposition.

Figure 4: Daily Crowds

Finally, I thought I would look at the impact of double headers - those occasions where a team plays back to back games, all for the price of a single game ticket. While the prospect of double the action seems to give the crowd size a bump on Saturday, the effect on Sunday seems to dissappear. This again seems unusual to me - adding to the enigma of Sunday crowds.

Figure 5: The Impact of Double Headers

I will track attendances as the season matures - and am hoping to see a steady increase in overall crowd averages. If you have any comments regarding the above analysis - or any thoughts regarding what other variables could be impacting on the figures - please let me know.

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