Date of Award

Spring 2014

First Advisor

Thomas Zlatoper


In the U.S., there is a strong passion for professional baseball, football, and, increasingly hockey. An interesting issue is whether this passion diminished during the recession of 2007-2009, the worst since the Great Depression, or remained the same. This study investigates the impact of economic downturns on the professional sports industry. In particular, it examines whether the National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball are recession proof (i.e. minimally impacted by recessions). Using regression analysis, this study explores the effect of recession and other factors on U.S. attendance and league revenue for the three professional leagues from 1990 to 2012. While much research has been done concerning whether other industries are recession proof, not much information exists discussing whether the sports industry is recession proof.