something we’ve talked about a lot. Here are some economists who’ve studied it:
and here’s a summary of what they found:
Our analysis offers historic evidence that suggests the consumers’ threat has not been credible. In general, none of the events we examined had a permanent impact upon attendance in these sports. In fact, in almost all instances attendance immediately rebounded in the year following the labor conflict. This explains why strikes and lockouts are happening with increasing frequency in professional sports. If the levels of attendance in the postconflict era are equivalent to the preconflict time period, only short-run costs are imposed upon the conflict partcipants. Given the millions at stake in each dispute, our analysis would indicate that labor conflicts that disrupt the regular season of these sports are likely to occur again in the future.
The “fan lashback” basically doesn’t exist.
Statistically, fans don’t stay away after a strike, or if they do, it’s for short periods of time. Individually, some obviously do, but statistically, it’s not an impact, any more than I impact Safeway when I move my shopping to a different supermarket.
Which basically means that (as I’ve said over time), all that talk by fans about punishing a sport for strikes and lockouts is, well, talk. Just like fans whining about high prices who still buy the tickets, fans talk about boycotting sports that go out on strike, but statistically, that lasts until 10 minutes after the new labor deal is signed. then it’s back to normal…