Facility Familiarity and the Home Advantage in Professional Sports

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International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology






The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of facility familiarity on the home advantage. In order to test for facility familiarity, archival data from professional basketball, hockey, and soccer games (n = 1,590) was classified into three blocks. The first block was games immediately prior to the relocation to a new venue; the second block was games immediately after relocating to the new venue; and, the third block was games following a period of relocation. Overall, the results provide little support for facility familiarity as an explanation of the home advantage. However, there was evidence of facility familiarity as an explanation of the home advantage when team quality is introduced as a possible moderator. Specifically, high quality teams suffered after a move from their familiar venue, whereas low quality teams seemed to benefit. Implications for the home advantage are discussed.