Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monthly Attendance Update

With March 2009 completely in the books, lets review how the month did attendance wise across the league and each of its divisions. Here is the last divisional update, and the last league-wide update. I would normally do it separately, but I've got all my stuff together so we mine as well do it all at once, no?

First, the overall good news. The monthly Average Attendance for March is up about 2% since February. Take a look (click to enlarge):

The month of March was the busiest for the NHL season, with 210 games which lead to over 3.7 million spectators and thus drives the overall NHL average for the season up to 17,423; a 0.7% increase from last season.

With some more good news, the average capacity attendance was up over 1.5% since February during March. See below (click to enlarge):

Capacity percentage was way up in March, helping drive the average cap. % for the season over 94%. I think it will be interesting to see if April can keep up with such a pace as there are few games but all of them are playoff-like for almost all teams.

Now although the league as a whole improved the numbers for the season and over February, four of the six divisions saw their average attendance drop since last month. First we will look at the Eastern Conference (click to enlarge):

Only the Southeast lost some ground here, which I was kind of surprised to see as both Carolina and Florida are benefiting from the Second Half Attendance Boost. The Northeast is at its highest point since December, and the Atlantic had its best month yet. Not much else going on here, and I think the numbers should be about the same to wrap up the season in April.

Finally, the Western Conference, which is the worse-off by far (click to enlarge):

As you can see, March was not kind to the Pacific and Northwest divisions, but with only 4 out of 10 teams in playoff contention, its not really much of a shock. Teams that come to mind are L.A. and Phoenix for the Pacific; who were in the running back in February but are out of it now. Colorado, the weakest link in the Northwest, is experiencing all-time low crowds at the Pepsi center. Meanwhile, the Central division jumps to record numbers for the Western Conference. These numbers were no doubt helped by having Chicago host 11 home games during March, but at the same time when all five Central division teams have a shot of making the playoffs, the intensity is cranked up. The numbers should be about the same in April, as well.

So that is that for the monthly updates. Next week I will come up with some plans to release a quick (not in-depth, we will save that for the off-season) report for the season, along with anything special for playoffs.

BallHype: hype it up!

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