The role of servicescapes in spectators' attendance at selected soccer stadia

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Mofoka, Makha Agatha
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Spectators are key constituents of sport organisations’ success as a large spectator base attracts sponsors. Once a spectator enters a sport stadium, the physical environment and the experience of the game may lead to a relationship with the environment and a team resulting in the spectator either revisiting a sport stadium, recommending the venue to others or avoiding the environment. Spectator attendance at sports stadia is also a primary sources of revenue for sport events. Stadium attendance also brings different benefits for spectators as a stadium can add excitement and atmosphere to an event experience and opportunities for socialisation within the environment. The main purpose of this study was to determine the role of servicescapes in spectators’ attendance at selected sport stadiums in Gauteng. Since sport depends on the facility for its production and service delivery, place (distribution) is an essential component in the marketing mix, as it can lead to approach or avoidance behaviours. The study was conducted at two different stadiums namely (Soccer City (formerly FNB) and Orlando stadiums) in the Gauteng Province. A quantitative research approach was used. A structured questionnaire was administered to 200 spectators using non-probability convenience sampling. Data from a total of 170 completed questionnaires were analysed. Data analysis was undertaken in two phases: firstly by pilot testing the questionnaire and secondly by the consolidation of the main survey findings through a more detailed analysis. The data was analysed with a view to address the objectives of the study. In order to ensure high quality analysis, all evidence was considered and all major rival interpretations were also addressed. Factor analysis was used to determine the various servicescape dimensions. Seven factors of servicescape were extracted, namely scoreboard quality, refreshment provisioning, facility aesthetics, space allocation, stadium accessibility, seating comfort and stadium cleanliness. The findings in this study indicate that there is significant positive correlation between the seven factors and future attendance and also a desire to stay within the stadium. The regression analysis reported significant predictive relationships between the stadium servicescape, future attendance and also a desire to stay within the stadium. Regression models depict that spatial allocation and functionality followed by stadia cleanliness made the greatest impact on spectators’ desire to stay within a servicescape and seating comfort and facility aesthetics significantly contributes to future patronage. Recommendations in this study suggest that stadium management and sport marketers should not concentrate on one factor but on several servicescape factors in order to maintain spectator patronage on sport stadium. By fulfilling spectators’ expectations, sport marketers and stadium management should ensure that spectators are satisfied with the stadium facilities and the physical environment to maintain their retention and loyalty to the stadium.
Thesis. (M. Tech. (Dept. of Marketing, Faculty of Management Sciences)) -- Vaal University of Technology, 2011.
Sport spectators, Soccer stadia -- South Africa, Sport events