Shared use of grounds allowed Australian cricket and football to subsidize each other, but cartel arrangements that determined the use of stadiums and the distribution of benefits and costs between sports may have been less than optimal. Estimation of deadweight losses from the use of stadiums is not possible in the absence of a counterfactual specifying the level of demand if the behaviour of cartel members had been coordinated more effectively. Archival, financial and attendance report data can be used to estimate increases in actual demand under alternative scenarios. In Melbourne and Adelaide, the controlling bodies of cricket and football uncured significant losses in welfare from joint use of their cities’ major stadium, due to the importance they attached to non-monetary aspects of utility.
Over a 50 year period, Australian Rules football's major league, the Victorian Football League, did not always use its largest and best-equipped stadium for regular season games between its most popular teams or schedule those teams to play twice in a regular season. We calculate deadweight losses from the use of capital goods (stadiums) and effects of match scheduling in this professional sports league. Such analysis has not been attempted previously because of the absence of a counterfactual. The welfare losses were significant but not sufficient to threaten the survival of a distance-protected cartel.