DP10524 | Do Fans Care about Compliance to Doping Regulations in Sports? The Impact of PED Suspension in Baseball

Publication Date

05/04/2015

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Abstract

There is little evidence in support of the main economic rationale for regulating athletic doping: that doping reduces fan interest. The introduction of random testing for performance-enhancing drugs (PED) by Major League Baseball (MLB) offers unique data to investigate the issue. The announcement of a PED violation: (a) initially reduces home-game attendance by 8 percent, (b) has no impact on home-game attendance after 12 days, and (c) has a small negative impact on the game attendance for other MLB teams. A lower bound for the cost of a PED violation to a team is $451K. This is the first systematic evidence that doping decreases consumer demand for sporting events.