Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Performance and Recreation

Committee Chair

Daniel Drane

Committee Chair Department

Human Performance and Recreation

Committee Member 2

Vanessa Francalacci

Committee Member 2 Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Committee Member 3

Erik Johnson


In Brazil, soccer is regarded so highly that Brazilians often refer to their country as o pais do futebol, or the country of football ("Natal Brazil", 2006). Brazil national soccer teams won five of the nineteen World Cup tournaments, a record that is so far unmatched by any other country. Brazil boasts 102 million soccer fans who attend games in the country's 300 soccer stadiums, which, combined, have more than five million seats (Helal et al., 2006;, 2010). However, while the importance of soccer in Brazil is unquestionable, the monetization of professional soccer in Brazil is currently far from optimal, especially in comparison to other countries (Leoncini & Silva, 2005). While the value of the world soccer industry has been estimated to be around $250 billion USD, the Brazilian soccer industry captures only $3.2 billion USD, or less than 2% (Helal et al., 2006). With that in mind, the purpose of this study is investigating the motivating factors that influence spectator attendance at professional soccer events in Brazil. Differences were analyzed in the sport spectator profiles of attendees at both leagues, the interaction between fans' sport spectator profile and the factors motivating attendance at both leagues, the self-reported motivating factors of sport spectators attending both leagues, and the self-reported Stadium Improvements that are most desired by sport spectators attending professional soccer events in Brazil. Participants in this study consisted of Brazilian soccer fans who attend the six professional soccer games from major and minor soccer league scheduled to take place near the end of the annual Brazilian soccer season, during November, 2010, in the city of Florianopolis in Santa Catarina, Brazil. In conclusion, seven motivating factors were shown to be positively related to game attendance: Aesthetics, Social Interaction, the Physical Skill of the players, Vicarious Achievement, Acquisition of Knowledge, Escape, and Drama. On the other hand, Brazilians' self-reported responses indicate that Team Identification is highly correlated with spectators' decision to attend games. It is hoped that these findings will find some application, especially in light of the upcoming 2014 World Cup, to be hosted by Brazil.