Air Pollution and Attendance in the Chinese Super League: Environmental Economics and the Demand for Sport

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Although numerous discussions have taken place on the environmental policies and practices of sport organizations, there have been very limited examinations of sport consumer behaviors in direct response to a polluted environment. To address this gap, this research examines air pollution and attendance at soccer matches of the Chinese Super League, where deteriorating air quality in recent years presents everyday challenges for urban activities. By employing actual air quality data gathered from various locations across China, this study conducts a regression analysis to examine factors that impacted Chinese Super League match attendance from 2014 to 2016. The estimated results suggest that consumers did not change their consumption habits despite the presence of air pollution. They yield critical managerial implications that need to be considered by consumers, sport organizations, and the government.

Watanabe and Yan are with the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. Soebbing is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fu is with the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, the University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA.

Watanabe (nmwatana@mailbox.sc.edu) is the corresponding author.
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