SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

NHL CLAIMS AVERAGE ATTENDANCE IS UP OVER LAST YEAR

     "The early results from the NHL turnstiles indicate that
there's a widening gap between the haves and the have nots,"
according to Gare Joyce in today's GLOBE & MAIL.  NHL VP of
Corporate Communications Bernadette Mansur reports that average
attendance "is up against last year's numbers, approximately
14,800 per game."  The "unofficial numbers" for this season prior
to Tuesday's games are 15,667.  But Joyce notes there are also
teams still struggling.  Those "long-suffering" franchises who
"fought hardest for equalization" during the lockout -- Hartford,
Ottawa, Edmonton, Washington and Winnipeg -- are "among the
hindmost at the gate" so far this season.  The teams which have
drawn well thus far include the Mighty Ducks and Sharks.  Mighty
Ducks Public Relations Dir Bill Robertson:  "After the lockout
ended, we had a lineup a block and a half long for available
seats.  The support here has been incredible" (Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 2/23).
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