SBD/April 23, 2014/Research and Ratings

AHL Regular-Season Attendance Down 5%; Two New Markets Down Sharply

AHL teams, playing at what is considered the Triple-A level of North American hockey, averaged 5,402 fans per game during the ’13-14 regular season, down 5% from last season. The Hershey Bears led all teams for the eighth straight season with 9,664 fans per game, but that average was down 4%. Two AHL clubs played in new markets this season -- the former Houston Aeros moved to Des Moines to become the Iowa Wild, while the former Peoria Rivermen relocated to Utica, N.Y., to become the Utica Comets. Both clubs saw sharp declines in attendance in their new markets. The Wild were down 13% compared to the final season in Houston in ’12-13, while the Comets were down 32% compared to the final season in Peoria. The sharpest drop in the league belonged to the Portland Pirates, down 51%. The club, which normally plays at Cumberland County (Maine) Civic Center, was forced to play nearly 30 miles away in Lewiston at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée due to a lease dispute. The team was even forced to play its final game at its practice facility due to double booking with a circus. However, the Pirates will return to downtown Portland for the ’14-15 season. Also seeing a sharp drop (-20%) were the Abbotsford Heat, which announced last week that the club will leave British Columbia after only five seasons. The Binghamton Senators led all teams in gains at the gate, up 11%.

AHL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE TREND
SEASON
GAMES
TOTAL
AVERAGE
'13-14
1,140
6,158,350
5,402
'12-13
1,140
6,510,295
5,711
'11-12
1,140
6,426,934
5,638
'10-11
1,200
6,455,951
5,380
'09-10
1,160
5,915,480
5,100
'08-09
1,160
5,933,381
5,115
'07-08
1,160
6,112,703
5,270
'06-07
1,080
5,909,687
5,472
'05-06
1,080
5,926,660
5,488
'04-05
1,120
6,675,786
5,961
13-14 AHL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE
TEAM
GAMES
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.
% +/-
GAMES ('12-13)
Hershey Bears
38
367,238
9,664
10,046
-3.8%
38
Grand Rapids Griffins
38
312,355
8,220
7,681
7.0%
38
Lake Erie Monsters
38
309,472
8,144
7,680
6.0%
38
Providence Bruins
38
309,113
8,135
8,188
-0.7%
38
Chicago Wolves
38
301,214
7,927
8,230
-3.7%
38
San Antonio Rampage
38
266,053
7,001
7,067
-0.9%
38
Charlotte Checkers
38
241,685
6,360
6,781
-6.2%
38
St. John's IceCaps
38
238,906
6,287
6,287
0.0%
38
Toronto Marlies
38
228,490
6,013
6,681
-10.0%
38
Iowa Wild*
38
223,559
5,883
6,793
-13.4%
38
Milwaukee Admirals
38
222,082
5,844
5,624
3.9%
38
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
38
220,556
5,804
6,038
-3.9%
38
Manchester Monarchs
38
213,104
5,608
5,706
-1.7%
38
Syracuse Crunch
38
211,815
5,574
5,399
3.2%
38
Rochester Amerks
38
205,669
5,412
6,314
-14.3%
38
Texas Stars
38
201,174
5,294
5,146
2.9%
38
Norfolk Admirals
38
190,143
5,004
5,451
-8.2%
38
Hamilton Bulldogs
38
187,938
4,946
5,342
-7.4%
38
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
38
184,688
4,860
5,300
-8.3%
38
Rockford IceHogs
38
182,540
4,804
4,560
5.3%
38
Adirondack Phantoms
38
159,289
4,192
3,994
5.0%
38
Hartford Wolf Pack
38
154,680
4,071
4,540
-10.3%
38
Worcester Sharks
38
150,402
3,958
4,374
-9.5%
38
Binghamton Senators
38
149,560
3,936
3,559
10.6%
38
Springfield Falcons
38
143,916
3,787
3,906
-3.0%
38
Utica Comets**
38
130,518
3,435
5,027
-31.7%
38
Albany Devils
38
127,673
3,360
3,860
-13.0%
38
Oklahoma City Barons
38
127,228
3,348
3,527
-5.1%
38
Abbotsford Heat
38
114,250
3,007
3,778
-20.4%
38
Portland Pirates^
38
83,040
2,185
4,444
-50.8%
38
AHL TOTALS
1,140
6,158,350
5,402
5,711
-5.4%
1,140
 

NOTES: * = Played last season as the Houston Aeros. ** = Played last season as the Peoria Rivermen. ^ = Played '13-14 season in Lewiston, Maine, due to lease dispute, but will return to Portland in '14-15.

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