Stanley Cup Final

NHL posts record attendance for fourth consecutive season

Blackhawks set club attendance mark; Big increases also seen in Washington, Boston

Sunday, 04.12.2009 / 8:52 PM / News

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League has set an overall attendance record for the fourth consecutive season. Total attendance of 21,475,223 and the per-game average of 17,460 were 1.1% higher than the corresponding record figures of 21,236,255 and 17,265 from 2007-08.

The Chicago Blackhawks established an NHL club record by attracting an average of 21,783 to their 40 home dates at United Center (not including the 40,818 who filled Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic on New Year's Day). With sellout crowds of 21,273 at Bell Centre for each of their 41 home games, the Montreal Canadiens ranked second in per-game average. The Minnesota Wild sold out their season for the eighth time in their eight NHL campaigns and the Pittsburgh Penguins completed back-to-back sold-out seasons for the first time in franchise history. Other clubs to attract sellout crowds to each of their games were the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. Several other clubs, including the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals, were virtually sold out.

The Blackhawks (up 30% over 2007-08), Capitals (up 17% to 18,097) and Boston Bruins (up 11% to 17,040) all enjoyed significant increases.

The League-wide aggregate and per-game average figures included sellouts of 13,699 for the two season-opening games between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm and sellouts of 17,085 for the two games between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague. For the purposes of calculation, the Chicago Blackhawks were credited with the United Center's official capacity figure (20,500) for the Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field; including the full Winter Classic attendance of 40,818, the aggregate NHL attendance increases to 21,495,541, and the per-game increases to 17,476.
Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday