Hosting Euro 2008 is holding down crowds at the venerable Vienna Opera, "the oldest theatrical institution with an unbroken record of performing in the German-speaking world."
At Monday's performance of Verdi's "La forza del destino" (The Force of Destiny), only 71 percent of seats were filled, a near-disastrous showing for a house that regularly sells up to 99 percent of its seats on most evenings.
Indeed, the opera house said it had even decided to cancel a ballet performance (La Bayadere) scheduled for June 29, the day of the Euro 2008 final in Vienna.
...In the run-up to the Euro 2008 soccer championships being held in Switzerland and Austria, the State Opera had predicted that performances were unlikely to be affected, since opera-goers were not interested in football.
Lesson learned? Substitution of economic activity takes place on many margins.
To be sure, the city is teeming with soccer fans, so many that one hotel declared itself to be "Euro free," with signs in the lobby requesting that visitors not talk about the soccer championship.
Hat tip: Frank Stephenson at Division of Labor, who has commentary.