Population migration and team loyalty in professional sports

Scott Tainsky, Monika Stodolska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Within the long line of inquiry on demand for sport, one area that has gone relatively unexamined is that of domestic migration. In this research, the relationship between population migration and team loyalty is explored. Methods: A linear mixed model uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Nielsen Company to analyze the effect domestic migration has on demand for National Football League games. Results: Ratings were higher in population centers with smaller per-capita population inflow (regardless of the origins of the inflow). The results further showed that increases in population flow from City A to City B were associated with increased demand for broadcasts in City B when Team B visited City A. Conclusions: The first finding suggests that sports viewership is not utilized as a vehicle for domestic transplants to integrate into their new community. The second finding suggests there is a nostalgia effect for an individual's previous hometown, though not necessarily for the team representing it in the league.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-815
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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