Analyzing the Attendance: Even Nasty NHL Attendance Nights Have Their Silver Linings




This is not a knock on these good people, or any other Florida Panthers fans.  But drawing is a struggle for this team, as they only got 10,323 vs. the Hurricanes last night.  For a team that’s clearly around to stay in at least a chase for a playoff spot, in a market where hockey fans clearly exist (their title run and tons of re-located New Yorkers prove that) they are disappointing at the gate, on a Thursday night vs. a division rival.

There was some more not-so-great attendance news in the NHL last night.  This myth that Sidney Crosby is a draw everywhere he goes is just that, a myth.  Crosby and the Pens drew 14,297, well short of a sellout in Nashville on Thursday for the Pens 5-3 loss to the Preds.  Ditto the idea that the Hawks are becoming a big draw, as only 15,174 came out to the Pepsi Center in Denver for the Avs 2-1 win over Chicago.

So, was there any good news to go along with this bad stuff in the NHL last night?  Of course there was, it’s just that those three numbers in particular were pretty distressing.  Let’s go game-by-game, as we will occasionally here at Puck the Media, and analyze the attendance.

Ottawa vs. Boston
Analysis: 1,000 short of a sell-out for a division rival is disappointing for the first-place Bruins.  But, with all the competition, the Bruins are just gonna’ have to keep winning to get all the seats filled.

Atlanta vs. New Jersey
Analysis: A surprisingly good number against a notoriously bad draw in the Thrashers.  The Devils are becoming a legitimate draw again in North Jersey, and are currently the out-drawing the NBA’s Nets, who play in a much larger arena and in a more star-power laden sport.

Minnesota vs. Philadelphia
Number: 19,596
With the Eagles exiting the playoffs on Sunday (zing!), the Wachovia Center won’t have an empty seat through April.

Toronto vs. Montreal
Number: 21,273

Dallas vs. Detroit
Number: 20,066 
Good to see the Joe still selling out for the now less-than-glamorous opponent in the Stars.

NY Islanders vs. Calgary
Number: 19,289
It’s the Isles, but again, duh.

Tampa Bay vs. Phoenix
Number: 13,736
Analysis: This was expected, since the Lightning are a disaster, and obviously Glendale is trouble to get to even for a good game.

Anaheim vs. Los Angeles
Number: 18,118
Kings-Ducks isn’t exactly Rangers-Devils or Oilers-Flames, but it’ll still sell out both buildings most of the time. 


2 Responses to Analyzing the Attendance: Even Nasty NHL Attendance Nights Have Their Silver Linings

  1. Wayne says:

    I’d like to point out that these are tickets sold; for many of these teams, these include a huge corporate season-ticket base. What the actual TURNSTILE count is, we’ll never know…
    For the ATL-NJ game, I think there were actually fewer in the stands than listed…

  2. ladyneat says:

    I was at Flyers s Wild. There was a ton of people there. It being the Flyers first home gave in two weeks, people were live hockey starved. I expect that tonight vs the Leafs will be the same deal.

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