November, 2008

Vend It Like Beckham

David Beckham's Effect on MLS Ticket Sales
  • Kathleen Sheehan

    Assistant Professor of Economics, Creighton University
  • Robert A. Lawson, E. Frank Stephenson

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In January 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that international soccer sensation David Beckham would be
joining the league playing for the LA Galaxy. This paper examines Beckham’s effect on MLS ticket sales for the 2007
season. Depending on specification, our results indicate that Beckham increased ticket sales as a share of stadium capacity
by about 55 percentage points. We then use these results to evaluate MLS’s Designated Player Rule and to perform
a back-of-the-envelope calculation of Beckham’s benefit to the LA Galaxy.

In January 2007, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that international soccer sensation David Beckham would bejoining the league playing for the LA Galaxy. This paper examines Beckham’s effect on MLS ticket sales for the 2007season. Depending on specification, our results indicate that Beckham increased ticket sales as a share of stadium capacityby about 55 percentage points. We then use these results to evaluate MLS’s Designated Player Rule and to performa back-of-the-envelope calculation of Beckham’s benefit to the LA Galaxy.

Read more at ProQuest.