General Sports

How does a new stadium impact wins and losses?

9/17/13 in General Sports   |   droth   |   127 respect

Note to baseball teams that want to win: DON'T MOVE! One team has won more games after moving into a new building in the last ten years: the 2009 Yankees, who would go on to win the World Series. Of the other six, only one has seen its win total stay the same and the rest have fallen. Three teams have had a double-digit decline and the average among all teams is 6.85 fewer wins per season.

In the NFL teams see a slight increase in wins when moving stadiums. In the last decade, four teams have had win totals rise, two have declined and two have stayed the same, resulting in an average gain of 0.75 wins per year.

Oct 8, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Aerial view of the Barclays Center. The venue is the home arena for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY SportsSo, clearly there are mixed results. Perhaps this means that there is no relationship or the sample size wasn't large enough, but that would mean I wasted my time looking up all of these numbers. Instead, I choose to interpret this information as evidence that fan enthusiasm has different impacts on different sports.

A new stadium means more excitement, but that will only be reflected in outcomes in sports where fans can impact the game or, in other words, when home court/field advantage is a real thing.

New college arenas and stadiums result in more wins. This makes sense. College fans go nuts and often impact games. If they are rowdier because they finally have a new home, that can translate to a win here or there. Renovations, however, result in 1 less win in for the average college football team. Perhaps a renovation just doesn't quite cut the mustard.

And in the pro ranks, the evidence actually lines up with how I interpret home court/field/ice advantage. Hockey and baseball, especially in the playoffs, are sports where momentum is everything and playing at home often does very little to help. And, as we might expect from that assumption, the added enthusiasm that comes from a new home hasn't meant any more wins.

But football and basketball, two sports where crowds can really help swing momentum, see more of a relationship between moving facilities and increasing win totals.

This explanation only covers part of it, however. How do players react to being in a new environment? From the evidence, it would appear that football and basketball players react more positively to a new place to play, but I'm curious what any athletes out there in the internet think? Why do some sports see a positive relationship but others don't?
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