Rivalry Effects and Unbalanced Schedule Optimisation in the Australian Football League

Rivalry Effects and Unbalanced Schedule Optimisation in the Australian Football League Like many professional sports leagues, the Australian Football League (AFL) operates an unbalanced schedule in which each team plays other teams an unequal number of times (once or twice) each season. This has led the AFL purposefully to schedule certain matches to be repeated each season with the remaining fixtures mostly randomly allocated. We explore the efficacy of this policy by estimating a fixed (rivalry) effects hedonic demand model for within-season AFL matches. Estimated rivalry effects are imputed into a binary integer program minimisation that provides an optimal profile of rematches against which we consider recent historic scheduling behaviour. As expected, rivalry effects are greatest for the large-market Melbourne ‘troika’ teams, which provides partial support for the AFL’s maintained policy. However, there exists scope for increasing aggregate attendance in the unbalanced part of the season by further attention to selection of rematches. We also observe some decline in interest of the second within-season meetings of popular troika teams and a rise in popularity of the intrastate derbies. Finally, we compare our results to alternative scheduling arrangements for the unbalanced part of the season. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Rivalry Effects and Unbalanced Schedule Optimisation in the Australian Football League

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-015-9495-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Like many professional sports leagues, the Australian Football League (AFL) operates an unbalanced schedule in which each team plays other teams an unequal number of times (once or twice) each season. This has led the AFL purposefully to schedule certain matches to be repeated each season with the remaining fixtures mostly randomly allocated. We explore the efficacy of this policy by estimating a fixed (rivalry) effects hedonic demand model for within-season AFL matches. Estimated rivalry effects are imputed into a binary integer program minimisation that provides an optimal profile of rematches against which we consider recent historic scheduling behaviour. As expected, rivalry effects are greatest for the large-market Melbourne ‘troika’ teams, which provides partial support for the AFL’s maintained policy. However, there exists scope for increasing aggregate attendance in the unbalanced part of the season by further attention to selection of rematches. We also observe some decline in interest of the second within-season meetings of popular troika teams and a rise in popularity of the intrastate derbies. Finally, we compare our results to alternative scheduling arrangements for the unbalanced part of the season.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 10, 2015

References

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