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Major League Baseball Attendance and the Role of Fantasy Baseball

Many explanations exist for the resurgence of the Major League Baseball (MLB) fan base following the 1994-1995 strike. The most prevalent explanations include the 1998 McGuire-Sosa home run race and Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games record. While such explanations certainly impacted fan interest in the sport, it is remiss to ignore the impact of online fantasy baseball leagues, which surfaced in 1997. This article examines the extent to which participating in a fantasy baseball league influences the MLB game attendance. The results strongly suggest that fantasy baseball participation positively influences MLB game attendance.