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2013 NHL Attendance Numbers

Here is my 2013 wrap up report on NHL attendance…(The entire post is replicated over at I try to make that other site my posts that are non-Seattle centric…like this one but a get a ton of traffic here by people searching for “NHL attendance”.)

Following a trend that was spotted early in the year, Average Attendance ended up 2% which might not be that impressive for some but remember that a good portion of markets sell out every game which means that attendance can not increase for half the teams. There are only 15 teams with “Attendance Volatility” in 2011-2012 so only those 15 can really impact the overall numbers. Attendance was up 4% across those 15 teams. 6 of those 15 saw 5% increase year over year and 10 of them saw at least a modest increase over 1%. Only 2 of the 15 (Columbus and St. Louis) saw declines of 1% of more.

What is one of my posts without some graphs?

The more important metric is capacity % and sellout % by team. 

Here are how the rest of the teams sellout % look…

One thing I enjoy doing is digging into some of the specifics. I isolated Columbus and the Islanders to see how their attendance over the Season as they were both in a battle to get into the playoffs. AS you can see and as expected, attendance increased as the season went on and games mattered more and more for getting into the playoffs.

Phoenix also saw attendance increase over the season. They had the 2nd biggest increase in average attendance for the year at 12%.

 And since I have the data, I isolated volatile teams only (which includes LA) to take a look at capacity by day of the week and month. As expected, Fridays and Saturday games draw the best and later in the season tends to do better. Note that January only includes a few games per team and I imagine fans were really starved for hockey hence the higher capacity % in January.

Would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any special requests on ways to slice the data let me know.

John Barr
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