NBA Primary Market Ticket Consumers: Ex Ante Expectations and Consumer Market Origination

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Florida
  • | 2 Texas A&M University
  • | 3 University of Illinois
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We add to the recent ticket market literature by using a unique, disaggregated, and proprietary data set of primary market ticket sales transactions from a National Basketball Association team that includes previously unavailable information on date of purchase, customer location, and other consumer demographics. We find that local and out-of-market fans differ in their total purchase amounts, with out-of-market fans spending more than local consumers, on average, and differential spending effects based on the home team win probability. In particular, this differential behavior has important implications for Rottenberg’s uncertainty of outcome hypothesis. We find evidence that interest in visiting team quality dominates interest in perceived contest uncertainty, fitting the reference-dependent preference model in the context of low local team quality. Further, these findings also have important implications related to market segmentation and dynamic ticket pricing in professional sport.

Brian M. Mills is with the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Steven Salaga is with the Division of Sport Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Scott Tainsky is with the Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois.

Address author correspondence to Brian M. Mills at
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