Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Member

Dr. Raymond Sauer, Committee Chai

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Makowsky

Committee Member

Dr. Chungsang Tom Lam


This paper examines how one of the determinants of demand for sports-player quality-influenced Major League Soccer during the seasons from 2004 to 2014. The impact is evaluated by estimating star and international players effect on match attendance. A star player is defined by their base salary, by their performance, and by their popularity. An international player is defined by his nationality. In terms of star effect, this study finds evidence that star players defined only by salary information exhibit a positive relationship on match attendance; especially, a top-10 paid player appears to produce a statistically significant increase in attendance. This study also finds evidence that there is a superstar externality in Major League Soccer but only in terms of salary information. In addition, it is obvious that an international player has a positive impact on match attendance and African and Asian players in particular are statistically significant. The implication of this study is favorable regarding the enactment of the Designated Player rule in 2007, which has allowed the league to better compete in the international soccer markets.



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