"Competitive balance versus competitive intensity before a match: is one of these two concepts more relevant in explaining attendance? The case of the French football Ligue One over the period 2008-2011"

Wladimir Andreff, Liliane Bonnal, Christophe Durand, Daniel Goyeau, and Nicolas Scelles


The aim of this article is to investigate the determinants of attendance at French football Ligue 1 matches over the period 2008–2011 with an emphasis on examining the effects of both competitive balance and intensity before a match. Competitive balance is measured by the point difference between the two teams concerned by a match in the championship. Competitive intensity is measured by the point difference for the home team in relation to ranks with sporting stakes. Results show that competitive balance has an insignificant impact whereas competitive intensity has a significantly positive impact. Implications are drawn.


competitive balance; competitive intensity; uncertainty of outcome; sporting stakes; attendance; French football Ligue 1;

Published in

Applied Economics, Londres: Chapman and Hall, vol. 45, n. 29, 2013, pp. 4184–4192