Re-evaluating the role of attendance on home advantage: Evidence from an international rugby tournament

Peter Dawson, Paul Downward, Vincent Hogan, Patrick Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Home advantage has been documented in many sports. It is hypothesized that higher attendances, likely dominated by home-team supporters can be a source of this advantage either through influence on match officials or by spurring the home team to greater efforts relative to the away team. We examine this latter hypothesis using a dataset of 1,030 matches over eight seasons, 2012/13 to 2019/20, in the Pro-14, one of the three major European Rugby Union leagues. Our results initially display strong evidence of home advantage. However, once we control for team quality, home advantage is significantly reduced. Further our results also indicate that home advantage is not explained by the impact of attendances on team performance (effort).
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Finance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Attendance
  • Home Advantage
  • Rugby

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