An empirical model of attendance factors at major sporting events
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Sports events represent a major category of event revenue contributing economic benefits to cities and regions. Whilst attendance at sports events is recognised as an important leisure and entertainment activity (Shamir and Ruskin, 1984), over the past 20 years sports event attendance expenditure has been declining as a percentage of total recreation expenditure (Ross, 2006). Consequently, an understanding of the factors that influence sports event attendance is crucial to the sustainability of these events. This study identifies the antecedents of sports event attendance among 460 respondents who were surveyed in Melbourne, a city that was recognised as the Ultimate Sports City in 2008 (Church-Sanders, 2008). Structural Equation Modelling was used to create an empirical model of attendance motivations. The model identifies constructs relating to emotional responses and facilities, as the predictors of event attendance and provides a discussion of the implications of this research for sporting event and hospitality managers.