Vulgar Statistics: Some Interesting Attendance Figures
I walked into the arena for the jersey unveiling yesterday, took a look at the cordoned off and therefore empty 200 and 300 sections and said, “so…this is how it feels to be a Canes fan.” Between the crowd (around 3,500), street hockey players and spectators for Hockey Fest (around 2,000) and people milling about the arena and Sabres store (around 1,000), there were about 6,500 people in attendance.
So, going back to my initial comment…how true is it? Better yet, if we take the Sabres pre-season numbers, how do those compare?
First off, we need to define the numbers for the Sabres. We’ve already come up with 6,500 for Puck Drop. In the Sabres two preseason home games last season, they drew 17,597, and 11,008 for an average of 14,303 (we’ll assume there was at least one really fat guy that counted as 1.5 people and round up). Now considering the average arena size is 18,521 people (not counting standing room), how teams do you think saw the Sabres’ preseason attendance beat at least one of their regular season games? Would you guess over half the league?
A whopping 15 of 29 remaining NHL teams had the Sabres preseason attendance outpace at least one of their regular season games. How many had more than one? Aw hell, I’ll just give you the list:
(If someone can explain the Rangers one non-sellout on February 10th against Nashville in which only 13,128 people showed, please do).
That means that the Sabres PRESEASON attendance outpaced 212 of the total 1,187 (remember two were played in Europe) remaining NHL home games. That’s 18%. In a league where the top ten teams in attendance basically sell out every game, that’s ridiculous.
Nor surprisingly, most of those instances come against southern markets. If Florida’s population wasn’t about 30% transplanted northerners, it would be even worse! (More on this next week). Now I know what a few people are saying. That first Sabres preseason crowd is bigger than a few arenas. But these teams aren’t being asked to fill their building, they’re being asked to fill at most 88% (Nassau Coliseum). That’s below league average. And Long Island has a crap ton of people. No excuses!
Moving right along. Surely, the Sabres approximated puck drop crowd can’t even approach ANYONE’S regular season attendance numbers for ANY game, right? Well, lovely readers, you must not have seen Phoenix’s attendance figures for the past season. There were five, count em five regular season games with attendance figures comparable to the crowd that gathered for a scrimmage and jersey unveiling in Buffalo. Shockingly, none of them are the Islanders.
Thursday, October 15th, 2009 – St. Louis Blues @ Phoenix Coyotes – 6,899 in attendance
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 – Anaheim Ducks @ Phoenix Coyotes – 6,495 in attendance
Monday, November 2nd, 2009 – Los Angeles Kings @ Phoenix Coyotes – 5,855 in attendance
Saturday, January 30th, 2010 – Chicago Blackhawks @ Carolina Hurricanes – 6,896 in attendance
Friday, February 10th, 2010 – Philadelphia Flyers @ New Jersey Devils – 5,580 in attendance
A few thoughts:
Someone seriously needs to clue me in on what happened in New York City on February 10th.
Also, re: Carolina Hurricanes…BAHAHAHAHAHA! We can get as many fans to show up for a preseason scrimmage as you can for an actual regular season game? BAHAHAHAHA! I’m not saying the Hurricanes fans suck, but there are more U.S. citizens trying to get into Cuba than there are people trying to get into the RBC center. I’m not saying their fans suck, but they still think Staal plays for Team Iceland and can’t score glove side. Really, I don’t want to pick on them, but Al-Quaeda would rather bomb a cornfield in North Dakota than the RBC center.
And Phoenix. Well no one really expects you to do anything. Here’s an idea, scrap the draconian immigration bills and offer free U.S. citizenship if you attend a Coyotes game. Cha-ching! Sellouts every night! Granted, having a crowd that can’t speak intelligible English probably isn’t a good thing, but hey, we let Montreal, Carolina, Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, Florida, and Tampa Bay get away with it!
This has been another edition of me ripping on teams from the South. Thank you, and enjoy your football.