SBD/May 12, 2015/Research and Ratings

ECHL Attendance Down 2%; Ontario (CA) Reign Lead In Final Season With League

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ECHL attendance was down around 2% this season as the league took on eight new teams. The '14-15 regular season saw 28 ECHL clubs average 4,598 fans per game, down from 4,706 for 22 clubs last season (includes two now-defunct teams). An offseason merger with the CHL added seven clubs to the ECHL this season, while the Indy Fuel came on as an expansion team. The Ontario Reign led the ECHL in attendance for the fifth time in six years with 7,802 fans per game, down around 4% from '13-14. However, the ECHL will lose the market next season to the AHL, with the ECHL club moving operations to Manchester, N.H. The ECHL's two other California markets -- Stockton and Bakersfield -- also will move to an AHL affiliation, with the ECHL teams moving to Glens Falls, N.Y., and Norfolk, respectively. Among the CHL additions, the Tulsa Oilers fared best, finishing fifth in attendance at 5,479 per game. Only one ECHL club, the Kalamazoo Wings, saw a double-digit percentage drop in attendance this season (-14%). The Wheeling Nailers again ranked last at 2,499 fans per game, but had a league-best 11% increase.

'14-15 ECHL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE
TEAM
GAMES
TOTAL
AVG.
PREV.*
% +/-
Ontario Reign
36
280,866
7,802
8,158
-4.4%
Ft. Wayne Komets
36
261,976
7,277
7,211
0.9%
Toledo Walleye
36
231,847
6,440
6,022
6.9%
Orlando Solar Bears
36
223,518
6,209
6,355
-2.3%
Tulsa Oilers**
36
197,249
5,479
n/a
n/a
Missouri Mavericks**
36
191,427
5,317
n/a
n/a
Colorado Eagles
36
190,395
5,289
5,289
0.0%
Florida Everblades
36
187,397
5,205
5,046
3.2%
Evansville IceMen
36
180,688
5,019
5,369
-6.5%
Wichita Thunder**
36
180,255
5,007
n/a
n/a
Gwinnett Gladiators
36
177,365
4,927
5,171
-4.7%
Utah Grizzlies
36
177,067
4,919
5,003
-1.7%
Bakersfield Condors
36
172,777
4,799
4,859
-1.2%
Stockton Thunder
36
166,368
4,621
4,786
-3.4%
Alaska Aces
36
157,197
4,367
4,619
-5.5%
Cincinnati Cyclones
36
156,325
4,342
4,229
2.7%
Reading Royals
36
150,903
4,192
4,087
2.6%
Allen Americans**
36
147,454
4,096
n/a
n/a
Idaho Steelheads
36
145,067
4,030
3,997
0.8%
South Carolina Stingrays
36
143,240
3,979
3,812
4.4%
Quad City Mallards**
36
140,885
3,913
n/a
n/a
Rapid City Rush**
36
138,826
3,856
n/a
n/a
Indy Fuel^
36
133,921
3,720
n/a
n/a
Greenville Road Warriors
36
130,299
3,619
3,430
5.5%
Kalamazoo Wings
36
97,302
2,703
3,138
-13.9%
Brampton Beast**
36
92,578
2,572
n/a
n/a
Elmira Jackals
36
92,056
2,557
2,629
-2.7%
Wheeling Nailers
36
89,953
2,499
2,252
11.0%
ECHL TOTALS
1,008
4,635,201
4,598
4,706
-2.3%
           

NOTES: * = Attendance for '13-14 includes the S.F. Bulls, who ceased operations in January '14 after 18 home games. It also includes the Las Vegas Wranglers, who ceased operations following the season. ** = Seven new teams were added to the ECHL this season following a merger with the CHL. ^ = Expansion club for '14-15 season.

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