Sunday, April 5, 2009

Second Half Attendance Boost: Part V

Playoff Hockey will soon be back in Carolina...

Here we have it, the last installment of the Second Half Boost series before the season ends. Wasn't it just All-Star weekend last week? It sure feels like it. As always, you can find all the previous editions here. Lets take a look at the Average Attendance figures first (click to enlarge):

Carolina, Columbus, and L.A. still have the gold, silver, and bronze in the bag. Columbus dipped a little for reasons I'm not sure, but sitting in sixth place currently it looks as though the Blue Jackets will have their first taste of playoff hockey since becoming a franchise in 2000; which will do wonders for their bottom line. The big winners the past two weeks have been Nashville and Ottawa. Nashville currently sits in eighth place tied with St. Louis in a tight playoff race there. Nashville played four home games over the past two weeks, winning 3 of them and losing one in overtime. Over this time, the Predators played only one Central division rival, so I think its safe to say playoff fever has taken a hold in the Music City. Ottawa, who gained just as much as Nashville, is playing for pride and ice-time. There doing a great job as playoff spoilers, going 6-4 in their last 10, to which the Sens army are staying faithful and optimistic about next season apparently.

Lets see if the same goes for the Capacity Percentage figures (click to enlarge):

Much of the same here, but what is good to see once again is the green positive figures towards the bottom of the bunch. Of the five teams in overall negative figures, only one is in playoff contention (St. Louis), so for those teams to be staying flat or actually gaining in their attendance towards the end of the season is very encouraging for the league.

With the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs starting a week from Wednesday, the next week and a half will be a lot of fun (not necessarily for me though, as the Rangers seem to have it set that they will make this a living hell). The Boost should continue, all the way into playoffs, where one of the first tests of the struggling economy will show its affect on the NHL.

Please do comment.

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