The NEW SCIENTIST reports that if your favorite team is moving to a plush new sports stadium, prepare for disappointment. Making the switch can have a dramatically negative effect on a team’s performance, a new study has found.
"It’ll probably cost you a couple of points in a season, and in some sports, that’s the difference between winning and second place," says Richard Pollard, a statistician at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California.
Pollard studied results of MLB, NBA and NHL teams between 1987 and 2000. He found that teams that moved stadiums lost on average 24 percent of their home advantage by moving into new home digs. Other sports, like the NFL, are similarly affected, he says.
Pollard says the effect is due to the lack of familiarity players have with the new facilities. Adapting to a new surface, field size and location can all act to distract players. Players in a new ground are also less likely to have the territorial passion of a team that has played at the same stadium for years.
So that’s why the Bengals, Lions and Seahawks all suck? Less "territorial passion?" Great to see our California tax dollars at work. I don’t think I need a Cal Poly Professor to tell me why those teams are awful. And it ain’t the stadiums either.
What the odds Dr. Pollard has ever even heard of Mike Brown?