Several NHL Clubs See Small Increases In Attendance Following Sochi Games
If attendance is the "most obvious measurement of fan interest, the decline in post-Olympic business feared by many NHL ownership types ... has not materialized," according to Larry Brooks of the N.Y. POST. Brooks did a "study of six teams out of the playoff picture," noting the Islanders "averaged 14,265 at the Coliseum for their first seven games after the Olympics, an increase of 318" fans a game. The Sabres "sold out four of their first five games upon resumption of the schedule," with the "average of 18,998 exceeding the season average by 449." The Oilers "went 9-for-9 in capacity crowds," and the Canucks had "six straight capacity crowds." The Hurricanes' average attendance of 15,726 following the Olympics is "greater by 306 than the season average." However, the Panthers are the "exception to the rule." They drew "an average of 12,499 to their first eight matches after the Olympics as opposed to their season average of 14,661, a drop of 2,162 that's significant enough to suggest fans simply lost interest in a poor product." This "likely would have happened without the break" (N.Y. POST, 3/29).