Buying Tickets: Capturing the dynamic factors that drive consumer purchase decisions for sporting events

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Wendy W. Moe

Peter S. Fader

Barry Kahn


Abstract: Though sports teams have a general intuition about the factors that influence ticket sales, little is understood about the decision-making process that underlies consumers' consideration/ purchase activities. We develop a two-stage model to better understand this process. In the first stage, consumers are faced with a "universal" set of options (i.e., all game/ ticket-tier combinations) from which they construct a smaller consideration set. In the second stage, consumers choose one option from this reduced set. We consider a variety of factors in each stage of the model, such as: game attractiveness (which is allowed to vary over time as the strength of each opponent changes throughout the season), seating tier, days until game, and ticket prices. We estimate our model for a U.S. professional sports franchise, and our empirical results can allow teams to run plausible scenarios about the impact that price changes (for current and future games) will have on ticket sales.