SBD/Issue 85/The Back of the Book

Around The Rinks: AHL Attendance Down 4.7%; ECHL Up 1.6%

The AHL, which is considered the Triple-A level of hockey, is seeing a 4.7% decline in average attendance through yesterday when compared to the same period last season. The Hershey Bears are leading all of minor league hockey in average attendance with 8,647 fans per game, up 5.8% from their attendance through the same point in '07-08. Meanwhile, the Rochester Americans continue to slide in attendance after years of success. The team is averaging 3,845 fans per game this season, off 46.8% from the same period a year ago. Last year marked the first time the club had a game below 4,000 people since the '96-97 season. In the ECHL, which is considered Double-A level, attendance is up 1.6% from the same period a year ago. The Ontario Reign are averaging 5,072 fans per game in their first season in Southern California, up almost 200% from attendance last season when the team played in Texas. The Stockton Thunder continue to lead all ECHL teams at the gate, averaging 6,794 fans per game, up 2.4% at Stockton Arena. The following lists attendance figures for the AHL and ECHL through January 20, with comparisons to the same period last season. Also click on each league for team-by-team attendance figures. Visit SportsBusinessDaily.com for team-by-team attendance figures (THE DAILY).

MINOR LEAGUE HOCKEY ATTENDANCE THROUGH JANUARY 20
LEAGUE
GAMES
TOTAL
AVERAGE
PREV.
% +/-
'07-08 GAMES
624
2,898,582
4,645
4,876
-4.7%
583
428
1,690,331
3,949
3,888
1.6%
454
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