Attendance Figures for the NHL

Below is a graph that shows the average attendance by market over the last 10 seasons. Here are some comments:

Canada has dropped off the last couple years because of Ottawa 2008-09 thru 2010-11. They rebounded this year but when Winnipeg was added, it dropped the average since their building has a capacity just over 15,000.

In the South, both Florida teams have increased a good amount over the last few years with Nashville also increasing this year by 500 people a game. Dallas is down ~3000 than their average from 2001 to 2010

In Non-traditional markets, Colorado, St. Louis & the Coyotes have had increases each of the last two years. Slightly offset by drops in Columbus.

In traditional markets, attendance is up just about everywhere including on Long Island, where the Islanders have increased their league low attendance by 1000 this season compared to last year.

As I study the Business behind the NHL, I thought I would share my findings. The league average capacity for NHL arenas is 18,272. The proposed Arena that the Hansen group is proposing is right at 18,000 for hockey. Check my graph below.


Seattle Comps

Isolating on Metro population only I feel the following NHL cities are good comps for Seattle:

Population and Value is in Millions. The value numbers and rank are based on Forbes published  values at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. I think it is tough to think that Seattle can do as well as Detroit with the history and friendly hockey nature but what do you think about Minnesota? It’s interesting because Minnesota is big on hockey and they have 4 pro teams as would Seattle if they should they get a team. One thing I’ve heard and I have no data to support it, is that Minnesota follows High School and College hockey more religiously than the NHL.

Segmenting for Analysis

I’ve consolidated some data across multiple facets of the business around hockey. Instead of analyzing by city size and conventional demographics, I’ve classified the teams into hockey market buckets…pretty subjective but hopefully you get the point.

There are 4 groupings of teams:

  • Canada
  • US Hockey Market
  • US Non-traditional
  • South

Canada, well that’s all the Canadian teams

US Hockey Market has Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Jersey, Islanders, Rangers, Philly, Pitt and Washington. One might question Washington but I think they have been around long enough to consider it a hockey market.

Non-Traditional has Anaheim, Colorado, Columbus, LA, Phoenix, San Jose and St. Louis. STL and PHO could be ones that don’t fit but for now I am keeping them there.

…and the South will include Carolina, Dallas, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Atlanta (keeping the thrashers alive since I don’t have a lot of Winnipeg data).

There might be justification in breaking out Carolina, Nashville, Columbus and St. Louis into a new group of mid-west non-traditional teams but for now I am keeping them put.

Let me know your thoughts.