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Keywords:

  • C23;
  • L83

This article develops a new simulation-based measure of playoff uncertainty and investigates its contribution to modelling match attendance compared with other variants of playoff uncertainty in the existing literature. A model of match attendance incorporating match uncertainty, playoff uncertainty, past home team performance and other relevant control variables is fitted to Australian National Rugby League data for seasons 2004–2008. The probability of making the playoffs and home team success are more important determinants of match attendance than match uncertainty. Alternative measures of playoff uncertainty based on points behind the leader, although more ad hoc, also appear able to capture broadly similar effects on attendance to the playoff probabilities.