A study on relocation of home field and improvement of game schedules for Nippon Professional Baseball
Shirai, Y., & Ono, H. (2021). A study on relocation of home field and improvement of game schedules for Nippon Professional Baseball. Journal of Management & Engineering Integration, 14(1), 67-80.
Professional sports are regarded as a business in Europe and the U.S. lately. Sport scheduling problems have been studied for increased attendance and improvement in game schedules. By contrast, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) regards ball games as a performance. Therefore, the improvement of game schedules has not been considered seriously. However, it has been revealed that sufficient attendance for sustainment of baseball league management is not securable only at the present home fields. For that reason, it is fundamentally important to acquire spectators in various regions other than the present home fields for increased attendance. In addition to such management issues, trading of a ball club might also require the relocation of a team's home field. Given that background, it is important to design a game schedule that lessens variation in the travel distance of each team. This study analyzes factors that affect attendance by multiple regression analysis and investigates ball club relocation based on anticipated attendance. Furthermore, we determine a game schedule that minimizes the total travel distance using Tabu Search and propose a method of determining candidate destination cities for the ball clubs to be relocated. Finally, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed method using a numerical experiment.