Bolstered by sellout crowds in Charlotte on Jan. 21 and 28 and sellouts on Jan. 28 in Florida, Idaho and Stockton, the ECHL had 278,991 fans attend games each of the past two weekends to surpass two million in attendance for the 13th consecutive season. The league is averaging 4,179 per game, an increase of 8.13 percent from the first 15 weeks of 2004-05 and almost 13 percent from 2003-04 and more than 19 percent from 2002-03.
Charlotte has had sellout crowds each of the past two Saturdays with 9,852 on Jan. 21 and 9,844 on Jan. 28 giving the Checkers five sellouts an average of 5,746 per game which ranks fourth in the league. The listed capacity for Checkers games at the new Bobcats Arena is 6,800, but additional sections can be opened to accommodate larger crowds.
First-year member Stockton had its second sellout of the season with 10,117 on Jan. 28 and the Thunder continues to lead the league with 6,492 per game, the highest per-game attendance since 2001-02 when Florida averaged 6,619 per game.
The ECHL has had five crowds in excess of 10,000 this season led by San Diego with 13,001 on Nov. 5 and Gwinnett with 11,355 on Nov. 11 while Charlotte had 10,894 on Nov. 25. The crowd in San Diego was the largest in the history of the Gulls while it was the third time in the last three seasons that Gwinnett has had a capacity crowd.
Perennial attendance leader Florida had its first sellout of the season with 7,287 on Jan. 28 and the Everblades have drawn 26,515 the last two weekends to raise their average to 6,104 per game which is second in the league.
Bakersfield drew almost 12,000 for its games on Jan. 20 and 21 and the Condors are third in the league with 5,849 per game, an increase of more than eight percent from last season and almost 30 percent from 2003-04. Bakersfield had 8,815 on Nov. 26 and 8,263 on Oct. 22 which are the largest and third-largest crowds in its ECHL history.