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NHL Sees Attendance Increase For Third Consecutive Season

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
The NHL averaged 17,268 fans per game this season (93.6% capacity), up 1.8% from 16,964 fans per game a year ago, while also marking the third consecutive season of growth. The Canadiens once again led the league in total and average attendance, joining the other five Canadian teams in selling out each game. Scotiabank Place in Ottawa and the Rogers Centre in Toronto proved to be the most-crowded venues, as the Senators and Maple Leafs packed their respective facilities to more than 103% capacity. The Flyers led all U.S. teams with 19,556 fans per game, while the Penguins sold out the season for the first time in franchise history, jumping 4.0% from last year's average attendance. Despite finishing near the bottom of the standings, the Blues led the entire league in gains from last season, up 40.6% at Scottrade Center. The Devils increased average attendance 9.8% in their first season at the Prudential Center, but managed only 88.3% capacity at the new venue. The Blue Jackets saw the sharpest decline among all teams, off 9.6%, or 1,578 fewer fans per game, from last year's average. The following presents final regular-season attendance for all NHL franchises, with comparisons to last season (THE DAILY).


'07-08 NHL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE

HOME TEAM

GMS

TOTAL

AVG.

% CAP.

PREV.

% +/-

GMS ('06-07)

Canadiens

41

872,193

21,273

100.0%

21,273

0.0%

41

Senators

41

812,665

19,821

103.5%

19,372

2.3%

41

Flyers

41

801,797

19,556

100.1%

19,283

1.4%

41

Maple Leafs

41

796,803

19,434

103.3%

19,487

-0.3%

41

Flames

41

790,849

19,289

100.0%

19,289

0.0%

41

Red Wings

41

775,394

18,912

94.2%

20,066

-5.8%

41

Lightning

41

766,412

18,693

94.6%

19,877

-6.0%

41

Sabres*

41

765,429

18,669

99.9%

18,690

-0.1%

41

Canucks

41

763,830

18,630

100.0%

18,630

0.0%

41

Wild

41

761,288

18,568

102.8%

18,543

0.1%

41

Rangers

41

746,200

18,200

100.0%

18,200

0.0%

41

Stars

41

739,585

18,039

97.3%

17,915

0.7%

41

Blues

41

722,010

17,610

92.6%

12,521

40.6%

41

Sharks

41

713,863

17,411

99.5%

17,422

-0.1%

41

Ducks**

41

705,058

17,197

100.1%

16,364

5.1%

41

Penguins

41

700,137

17,077

100.8%

16,424

4.0%

41

Avalanche

41

690,552

16,843

93.5%

17,613

-4.4%

41

Oilers

41

690,399

16,839

100.0%

16,839

0.0%

41

Blackhawks

41

689,377

16,814

82.0%

12,727

32.1%

41

Hurricanes

41

681,962

16,633

89.2%

17,387

-4.3%

41

Kings**

41

680,752

16,604

91.7%

16,859

-1.5%

41

Thrashers

41

648,811

15,825

85.3%

16,230

-2.5%

41

Devils

41

638,144

15,564

88.3%

14,176

9.8%

41

Capitals

41

634,381

15,473

84.7%

13,916

11.2%

41

Panthers

41

632,881

15,436

80.2%

15,370

0.4%

41

Bruins

41

632,621

15,430

87.8%

14,765

4.5%

41

Predators

41

611,328

14,910

87.1%

15,260

-2.3%

41

Blue Jackets

41

607,757

14,823

81.7%

16,401

-9.6%

41

Coyotes

41

607,622

14,820

83.3%

14,988

-1.1%

41

Islanders

41

559,247

13,640

84.0%

13,018

4.8%

41

NHL TOTALS

1,230

21,239,347

17,268

93.9%

16,964

1.8%

1,230



NOTES: The NHL figures have the league total attendance at 21,236,255, with a per-game average of 17,265. * = The Sabres played an outdoor home game January 1 at Ralph Wilson Stadium with an attendance of 71,217. ** = Both the Ducks and Kings played one "home" game in London, with an average of 17,426 for each game.

SELLOUT STREAKS: The Penguins this season sold out all 41 regular-season home games at the 17,000-seat Mellon Arena, setting a club record streak of 54 consecutive sellouts dating back to the '06-07 season. Tickets to the Penguins’ first two home playoff games sold out in 11 minutes, and there is a waiting list of more than 1,300 fans for '08-09 season tickets (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/7).... The Ducks sold out all 40 games at the 17,000-seat Honda Center this season (Ducks)....The Wild sold out the whole season at Xcel Energy Center, extending their streak to 318 consecutive games (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/8).

THRASHERS:
The ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE’s John Manasso reports the Thrashers this year posted their "third-highest revenue in their eight seasons, and highest since 2000-01." Atlanta Spirit Exec VP & CMO Lou DePaoli said that on the “strength of last year's first-time playoff appearance and the excitement generated around being able to host" the NHL All-Star Game earlier this year, the Thrashers' revenue this season is "higher than the playoff season." However, DePaoli added that season-ticket renewals "have fallen" (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 4/4 issue).

SABRES: BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST’s James Fink notes the Sabres this season sold out 38 of 40 home games at HSBC Arena. Also, the Amp Energy NHL Winter Classic sold 71,217 seats at Ralph Wilson Stadium and 12,000 more fans watched the New Year's Day game from inside HSBC Arena. The two games that did not sell out "fell just a few hundred short of the 18,690-seat capacity." Both games were played on a Monday night. Meanwhile, the Sabres sold season-ticket packages “totaling 14,800 seats this season.” The team’s waiting list includes more than 6,000 individuals and companies (BUSINESS FIRST OF BUFFALO, 4/4 issue).
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