CONSUMPTION BENEFITS OF NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE GAME TRIPS ESTIMATED FROM REVEALED AND STATED PREFERENCE DEMAND DATA

Authors

  • JOHN C. WHITEHEAD,

    1. Whitehead: Department of Economics, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28607. Phone 828-262-6121, Fax 828-262-6105, E-mail whiteheadjc@appstate.edu
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  • BRUCE K. JOHNSON,

    1. Johnson: Department of Economics, Centre College, Danville, KY 40422. Phone 859-238-5255, Fax 859-238-9610, E-mail bruce.johnson@centre.edu
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  • DANIEL S. MASON,

    1. Mason: Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, Canada. Phone 780-492-6822, Fax 780-492-1008, E-mail dmason@ualberta.ca
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  • GORDON J. WALKER

    1. Walker: Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, Canada. Phone 780-492-0581, Fax 780-492-2364, E-mail gordon.walker@ualberta.ca
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    • Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant from the Alberta Gaming Research Institute. The authors would like to thank the University of Alberta Population Research Lab staff for their assistance collecting the data and Glenn Blomquist, Jeff Borland, Philip Porter, Stefan Szymanski, and two anonymous referees for a number of comments and suggestions that have greatly improved this paper. Previous versions of this paper were presented in seminars at the University of Kentucky and Appalachian State University and in a session at the 2008 Southern Economic Association meetings.


Abstract

This paper examines the demand for hockey game trips among metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residents of Alberta, Canada. Using data on both revealed and stated preference game-trip behavior from a telephone survey conducted throughout Alberta, we estimate the effect of ticket prices, team quality, arena amenities, and capacity on the latent demand for National Hockey League hockey games. We find that lower ticket prices, higher team quality, and additional capacity encourage attendance. In the status quo scenario, consumer surplus per game is $50 for those who had attended hockey games and about 50% less for those who had not attended games. Exploiting the stated preference data, we develop a number of other consumer surplus estimates. We also include travel costs in the estimation of the demand function and estimate the full value of the game trip considering both ticket prices and travel costs. Sold-out arenas in Calgary and Edmonton generate annual consumption benefits of $40 and $35 million when only ticket prices are used to calculate consumer surplus (i.e., excluding travel costs). Considering the full-price consumer surplus for the Calgary Flames of $103 per game trip, the annual consumption benefits may be as high as $82 million. (JEL R22, L83, D61)

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