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Abstract

The factors that impact attendance at sporting events in general and at small college sporting events in particular have been widely examined by sports marketing academicians. Among the various factors emerging over two decades has been attendance based on identity with individual teams and players, to idiosyncratic factors such as the environment and the entertainment value of the sporting event itself. Less is known, however, about what creates and promotes the desire to attend sporting events associated with historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s). HBCU’s, like their other small college athletic departments, are now facing financial difficulties because of dwindling administrator support ensuing from declining state budgets, forcing the athletic directors of these schools to come up with innovative methods to bolster attendance---the primary source of revenue at small colleges. The authors develop and then test a 33 item scale that includes 11 potential factors explaining attendance at HBCU sporting events. Results and conclusions are then reported. As the authors note, the unique role sports plays in the life of the HBCU fan is ripe for further investigation, and practically speaking, is a valuable area of research for those interested in helping preserve the rich heritage of these programs.

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